Confronting gun violence as a public health issue
■ Selected articles on trends, challenges and controversies in the changing world of medicine.
Posted Sept. 24, 2012
Some physicians believe preventing gun violence should be a public health issue and not just a matter of law. They say a public health approach is necessary to reduce the physical and mental toll of gun violence, just like wide-ranging research and prevention efforts have helped cut the rate of other illnesses and injuries.
American Medical News has covered the efforts of physicians who are using their influence to make preventing gun-related injuries and deaths a public health issue.
A spate of mass shootings nationwide reignited a discussion some physicians already were having about the need to study gun-related deaths and injuries and to take a preventive health approach to firearm violence. However, funding for such research has all but dried up at the federal level because of political battles over guns. Read more
The health impact of incidents such as the July 20 mass shooting in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater resonate beyond what happened during the carnage itself. Doctors say many who were at the scene — as well as some following media coverage — will emerge with mental health issues that physicians will need to monitor. Read more
Anthony Atkins, MD, a family physician in Lima, Ohio, tries to reach his young patients — and youth in general — by writing rap songs about reducing gun violence and other preventable diseases and injuries he sees in his office. Dr. Atkins doesn't rap himself. The self-professed jazz fan turns his rhymes over to rappers to record. Read more