A doctor whose cousin was killed in the Sandy Hook massacre calls for a rational, scientific, and apolitical approach in tackling the issue of gun violence in the United States.
Chana A. Sacks, M.D., writes that “both the problem’s scope and its relevance to physicians and patients are indisputable: in the United States, 30,000 people die each year from firearm injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Firearm injuries send 20 children and adolescents to the hospital every day; every year, 2000 people receive gunshot-related spinal cord injuries and become lifelong patients. And this is an American problem: U.S. children 5 to 14 years of age are nearly 11 times as likely to be killed by a gun as their counterparts in other industrialized countries. By any rational definition, gun violence is a health issue, and physicians can take the lead on treating that as an apolitical fact.”
Two years after President Obama lifted the ban on CDC-funded gun violence research, there is still little funding for the field, Sacks says. “Acknowledging a need for research is not a commitment to enact any particular policy or to agree on an interpretation of the Second Amendment. Rather, it reflects the principle that high-quality data can inform better decisions and improve health.”