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America’s Heartbroken Physicians Demand Action on Gun Violence

Originally posted by American Medical Association Public Health Division

Written by Andis Robeznieks, Senior News Writer, American Medical Association

The AMA is calling for meaningful action to address the public health crisis of firearms violence. Two more horrific episodes shook the country last weekend with mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left 31 dead and more than 50 wounded.

“The devastating gun-violence tragedies in our nation this weekend are heartbreaking to physicians across America,” AMA President Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, said in a statement Sunday. “We see the victims in our emergency departments and deliver trauma care to the injured, provide psychiatric care to the survivors and console the families of the deceased. The frequency and scale of these mass shootings demands action.”

Nearly 40,000 Americans are killed each year in acts of firearms violence and about 85,000 more are injured, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The AMA has been a long-time advocate for violence prevention and, after the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, the Association adopted policy declaring that firearms violence is a public health crisis.

“Common-sense steps, broadly supported by the American public, must be advanced by policymakers to prevent avoidable deaths and injuries caused by gun violence,” said Dr. Harris, an Atlanta psychiatrist. “We must also address the pathology of hatred that has too often fueled these mass murders and casualties.”

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