For Immediate Release
Contact: Becky Martin
Tel: (941) 518-7051
Washington DC—December 20, 2012
In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, the National Physicians Alliance leadership is expanding the organization’s work on violence prevention, which has included defense of clinical free speech regarding gun safety. The NPA is urgently calling on lawmakers to:
- Enact a comprehensive federal ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines
- Close the gun-show loopholes
- Strengthen universal background checks for all gun transfers
- Work toward an evidence-based approach to gun violence prevention
“Guns must be part of any conversation about America’s health,” says NPA President Dr. Cheryl Bettigole. “Too many children have died—in mass shootings and in daily gun violence and accidents across the country. It is disappointing though not surprising that the NRA has attempted to divert attention away from the need for assault weapon bans and stricter background checks.”
In addition to providing vigilant mental health screening and referral, the NPA believes physicians should routinely ask patients about gun ownership and safety, as millions of questionably secured weapons circulate throughout the nation.
“The NPA recognizes that the problem of gun violence in our nation is complex and that solutions will involve more than gun regulation,” says NPA Executive Director Dr. Jean Silver-Isenstadt, “but that should not preclude action on some of the most obvious measures to reduce the number of deaths.”
With deep condolences to the people of Newtown and to all victims of gun violence, the NPA calls on lawmakers to swiftly ban America’s most lethal weapons and ammunition from the marketplace, and to substantively review and improve all laws that impact the legal sale and purchase of guns.
Uniting physicians across medical specialties, the National Physicians Alliance creates research and education programs that promote health and foster active engagement of health care providers with their communities to achieve high quality, affordable health care for all. The NPA offers a professional home to physicians who share a commitment to professional integrity and health justice. www.npalliance.org