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National Physicians Alliance

Gun Violence & Public Heatlh Action Update

December 11, 2015

Turning Frustration Into Positive Action

Written by Sarah Kimball, MD, NPA Gun Violence Prevention Taskforce Co-Chair

December 14th will mark the sad third anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings.  And the number of victims of gun violence continues to grow.  As physicians, we are called to advocacy by the fact that our nation continues to tolerate a preventable public health crisis. This epidemic of gun violence is a failure of shameful magnitude.  

And there is reason for hope.  This month the New York Times devoted a front page opinion piece to the importance of gun violence prevention—a first front-page editorial from the Times in 95 years. 

We know that public policies to reduce gun death should be determined in the same way we as physicians determine our treatments: through sound research and evidence-based practices.  The voice of physicians matters on this issue.  READ MORE… 

Opportunity to End CDC Ban on Gun Violence Research

On Thursday, December 10, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi boldly announced that House Democrats will only support the final year-end omnibus budget bill if the ban on CDC and NIH research on gun violence is removed. 

This announcement could mark a dramatic change in approach to addressing the epidemic of gun violence in our country.  Please call your U.S. House Representative and both your U.S Senators and urge them to support efforts to remove the ban on gun violence research from the budget.  This is a time-sensitive action.

We know there are commonsense solutions to the crisis caused by gun violence in our communities and that a public health approach rooted in solid, scientific research is the first step to prevention and ending this epidemic.  Tell your elected officials to SUPPORT EFFORTS TO REMOVE THE BAN ON GUN VIOLENCE RESEARCH FROM THE BUDGET.

Call Congress Today! It's time to end the 20-year ban on gun violence research.

Click here to find phone numbers for your U.S. Senators & House Representative

What the Planned Parenthood Shooting Means for Medicine

Written by Tehreem Rehman, MD/MPH student at Yale/Johns Hopkins invested in social justice work and health policy, and member of the NPA Policy Committee.

The horrific shooting at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs that left three dead serves as a stark reminder of the grave consequences of inflammatory politic rhetoric and poor legislation.

After his arrest, Gunman Robert Dear declared “no more baby parts” to investigators. Dear’s terrifying actions have been linked to the national ongoing attack on reproductive rights as well as inadequate gun control laws. As a medical student, I fear that we will have many more Robert Dear’s in this country unless we make sure that political interests do not continue to impede on patient-provider relationships.

A report called “Politics in the Exam Room: A Growing Threat” that was released earlier this year describes how existing laws prevent doctors from executing their professional and ethical duty…

From the Academic Literature

In Memory of Daniel — Reviving Research to Prevent Gun Violence
Chana A. Sacks, M.D. New England Journal of Medicine: Perspective. N Engl J Med 2015; 372:800-801. February 26, 2015. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1415128

Getting Serious About Reducing Suicide: More “How” and Less “Why.”
Jeffrey W Swanson, Richard J Bonnie, Paul S Appelbaum. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina (JWS). Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy, University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville (RJB). Division of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, New York. (PSA). Journal of the American Medical Association: Viewpoint. December 1, 2015. JAMA. 2015;314(21):2229-2230. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.15566.

Long-term mortality of patients surviving firearm violence. 
Fahimi J, Larimer E, Hamud-Ahmed W, Anderson E, Schnorr CD, Yen I, Alter HJ. Injury Prevention. 2015 Oct 27. pii: injuryprev-2015-041710. doi: 10.1136/injuryprev-2015-041710.

Firearm Ownership and Violent Crime in the U.S. - An Ecologic Study 
Michael C. Monuteaux, ScD, Lois K. Lee, MD, David Hemenway, PhD, Rebekah Mannix, MD, Eric W. Fleegler, MD American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2015 Aug;49(2):207-14. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2015.02.008. Epub 2015 Jun 16.


Politics in the Exam Room - A new report co-authored by the National Partnership for Women and Families, the National Physicians Alliance, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Law Center to Protect Gun Violence.

State Laws that Undermine the Practice of Medicine Pose a Significant and Growing Threat, New Report Warns Environmental, Gun Safety, Medical and Women’s Health Leaders Caution that Imposing Politics on Clinical Care Endangers Patients - Read Report & View Related NPA Webinar Series

NPA In the News

What the Planned Parenthood Shooting Means for Medicine - Huffington Post (12/4/2015)

Physicians to Congress: Time to lift the 20-year-old ban on gun research - Becker’s Hospital Review (12/3/2015)

Congress pressured to drop gun control research ban - The Hill (12/2/2015)

Doc Groups Urge Congress to Drop Gun Research Ban -  MedPage Today (12/2/2015)

The Gun Industry Has Systematically Demolished Regulators And Avoided The Fate Of Cigarettes - Think Progress (12/1/2015)

For National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Let’s Close the Boyfriend Loophole - Huffington Post (10/23/2015)

Politicians are invading our medical exam rooms - Washington Post (10/19/2015)

From Our Allies

Seeking Solutions to Gun Violence at the Scene of the Crime 
American Academy of Family Practice, Leader Voices Blog, 12/9/2015

Study shows gun deaths surpass motor vehicle deaths in 17 states
iolence Policy Center 

Gun Owners Overwhelmingly Support Background Checks, See NRA as Out of Touch 
Center for American Progress

In the Media

Turn loose America's best researchers on gun violence - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

End the Gun Epidemic in America - The New York Times Editorial Board

Why the New York Times’ gun control op-ed can (and should) matterWashington Post 

Rejecting Appeal, Supreme Court Again Stays Out Of Gun PolicyNPR

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from gun owners who challenged a ban on semi-automatic assault rifles and large-capacity ammunition magazines. 

From Capitol Hill

Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Forum
No More Silence: Commonsense Solutions to Address the Gun Violence Epidemic

Hosted by the U.S. House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force - Watch video


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