This past weekend I had the pleasure of speaking on a Public Health Approach to Gun Violence at the National Convention for the American Medical Students Association. The issue of gun violence is enormous one. 30,000 people in the United States are killed by gun violence and twice as many are injured every year. Evidence shows that safety devices such as locks and storage practices can reduce harm. Evidence shows that when doctors talk to patients about storing their guns unloaded, locked, and stored separate from ammunition, patients listen. Furthermore, public health successes in reducing tobacco smoking and motor vehicle accident fatalities remind us that change is possible and offer valuable lessons. The NPA has developed rich and expertly informed resources on preventing gun violence and offers important ways that health care professionals can make an impact. Take a look. Share it with your family members. Discuss it with your community and elected leaders.
Ricky Y. Choi, MD, MPH