The Public Health Crisis of American Gun Violence
How We Can Make a Difference
Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence (PPGV) is a Michigan based organization that educates physicians on the prevention of gun violence. Approximately 100 Americans are shot to death each day and over twice as many are physically wounded. PPGV has been educating health professionals to talk to patients about access to guns, safe storage, and helping them make decisions that facilitate optimal health and safety. Recognizing that the majority of gun deaths are due to suicide, PPGV emphasizes the need to keep guns out of the hands of people with emotional, substance-related, or mental health crises. PPGV also advocates for the passage of sensible gun reform legislation. In this presentation, we will examine gun violence, focusing on how particular populations such as women, children, communities of color, and individuals struggling with mental health challenges are uniquely affected. We will examine the epidemiology of gun violence and outline some of the ways in which politics have become entangled with the pursuit of life-saving interventions. We will describe how non-medical community members can have a major impact in raising awareness by inquiring about safe storage of firearms. Instructor Sonya Lewis will lead our discussion of selected state and federal gun violence-related legislation and encourage attendees to contact elected leaders to advocate for bills to prevent gun violence. Finally, we will open the conversation to course attendees as we examine the historical challenges faced in addressing gun violence and discuss opportunities to effect meaningful change.
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