It's time for a public health solution to gun violence.

Currently, we rely primarily on individual-level solutions to try to prevent mass murders and other instances of gun violence.

Unfortunately, these methods fall short because they rely on numerous individuals to close gaps that could be closed, or narrowed, with a population-level solution.

We already have a model for these kinds of restrictions. Age requirements, tests, practice and waiting periods are required for anyone who chooses to drive a car, and penalties are imposed on those with even the slightest infraction.

The majority of Americans, including gun owners, support background checks for all gun buyers, federal mandatory waiting periods, and bans on the sale of high-capacity magazines, yet our legislators fail to act for their constituents.

It's time. Demand action.

Erika Fuchs



(7) comments

Carlos Ponce

The CDC reviewed gun violence in the United States. Their conclusion:
"The following laws were evaluated: bans on specified firearms or ammunition, restrictions on firearm acquisition, waiting periods for firearm acquisition, firearm registration and licensing of firearm owners, "shall issue" concealed weapon carry laws, child access prevention laws, zero tolerance laws for firearms in schools, and combinations of firearms laws.The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes."
All you recommend could be enacted with zero impact on gun violence.
As to the report, caveat lector: "Note that insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness."
But take for instance access to guns and background checks. Illinois has some of the toughest laws yet the gun violence in Chicago points to the ineffectiveness of those laws. Someone with bad intent can obtain a firearm off the street - no background check, no waiting period, no age limit etc. Just flash the cash and you can obtain what you want. And that applies to everywhere on this planet.
Is there an answer? Yes. First fix the family. And take away the stigma of reporting things that don't seem right to the police. I'm not proposing that you become Gladys Kravitz but there are avenues to report suspect activity.
Your information can remain confidential by calling Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).
There were many "red flags" in Nikolas Cruz' and Stephen Paddock’s backgrounds. Authorities knew but someone dropped the ball.

Carlos Ponce

"More Americans Blame Mass Shootings on Mental Health Than on Gun Laws, New Poll Finds"
"Many more Americans believe that mass shootings result from inadequate mental health care than those who think lax gun laws are to blame, according to a new poll from ABC News and the Washington Post."

Jim Forsythe

If you think that the shooting in Parkland, Fla. will be the last, then nothing needs to be done. If not what are we going to change?
Maybe things will start to change, after the "March for Our Lives - On March 24," After other mass shootings, have we as a country changed? Are we just doing the same thing? The ones making the rules in D.C. are protected from guns, while our kids at school are not. If you are old enough, you may remember the kids march in 1963. Sometimes it takes the children to show us the way.
May 2, 1963. "In 1963, pictures from Birmingham were shown around the world of children blasted by fire hoses. Of children attacked by dogs. Of children singing, "We Shall Overcome."" Martin Luther King Jr. came to the juvenile facility and was speaking words of encouragement outside. "He said, 'What you do this day will impact children who have not been born"

Gary Miller

The majority believe gun violence is a mental health problem? What else could we think? Anti gun laws haven't done any good because the killers plan on ignoring the highest law. The piddling anti gun laws aren't even considered. The gun law that reduced crime was "project exile" designed by the NRA which rapidly reduced violent crime in the States that adopted it. Until liberal judges started ignoring it.

Dan Freeman

Mr. Ponce has quoted the CDC report out of context. The Report was written in October 3, 2003. Moreover, its conclusions “…are not necessarily the conclusions of DHHS or CDC.”

The final paragraph more correctly summarizes the report’s conclusions: “This is a critical period for focused research on the effectiveness of firearms laws in reducing violence in the United States. International comparisons indicate that the United States is an outlier among developed, industrialized nations in rates of firearms violence (2). Widespread public concern exists about criminal firearms violence, firearms violence among youth, and other forms of firearms violence, and popular support for many firearms laws is evident (34,35). Although the Task Force's systematic review of the existing literature on firearms laws found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of these laws in preventing violence, research should continue on the effectiveness of firearms laws as one approach to the prevention or reduction of firearms violence and firearms injury. Evaluation should include not only the laws reviewed here, but the broad array of other federal, state, and local laws.

Finally, remember, the Dickey Amendment effectively banned CDC research and conclusions on gun violence. The author, former Rep. Jay Dickey of Arkansas, now regrets his part in blocking the research.

Careful reading of the literature would support the arguments presented by Ms Fuchs. Clearly, CDC should be asked to treat gun violence as public health problem.

Carlos Ponce

A member of the CDC was on the task force to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws presented.
Dr. Alex Crosby, MD is from the Division of Violence Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC Atlanta, Georgia.
Other members are
Robert A. Hahn, Ph.D., Oleg O. Bilukha, M.D., Ph.D. and Susan Snyder, Ph.D. of the Division of Prevention Research and Analytic Methods Epidemiology Program Office.
Mindy Thompson Fullilove, M.D. of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University New York, New York.
Akiva Liberman, Ph.D. of the National Institute of Justice U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, D.C.
Eve K. Moscicki, Sc.D. and Farris Tuma, Sc.D.of the National Institute of Mental Health National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland.
And Stephen B. Thacker, M.D., Director; Division of Prevention Research and Analytic Methods, Richard E. Dixon, M.D., Director.
Not out of context. That's why I provided the link so readers could read the entire report and judge for themselves. Or did you want me to copy and paste the entire report?

Steve Fouga

As always, I'd rather you simply synopsize the report rather than posting any of it.

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