Gun Violence as the USA Public Health Problem

To believe the statistics, gun violence in the US continues to grow in an exponentially rhythm and become one of the leading cause of death in the country becoming a public health issue. The country holds the world record for the firearms per capita and the highest rate of shot dead in all developed countries. ‘We have to admit that this type of violence does not happen in other developed countries, it does not happen with the same frequency,’ Barack Obama said after the Charleston shooting to confirm this record. A pernicious combination of historically, cultural, political, and economical situation prevents Americans to significantly limit the purchase of gun. The killing in Parkland Florida high school was “la goutte d’eau qui a débordé le vase” (French for drop of water that overflowed the vase), where seventeen students and teachers were murdered and more than a dozen others were injured.

This resounds in peoples mind as “enough” is “enough” and we have to stop this to continuous happen in our country. In the USA, 320 206 000 inhabitants, 8855 homicides by firearms. In France, 66 917 394 inhabitants, 430 homicides by firearms. If France had as many inhabitants as the USA it would only 2058 homicides or 6797 less. How to explain this huge difference? Perhaps by the treatment of crime: in France, weapons are not sold over the counter and the death penalty has been abolished. In this situation continue to defend the carrying of arms for all and to affirm that the death penalty is dissuasive? (Le Figaro.fr June 19, 2015). “The pervasiveness of gun violence and the weapons used in these crimes have changed the way we live. In movie theaters, places of worship, offices, restaurants, night clubs and schools, people today make clear note of escape routes”(Barbe, 2018).

Gun shootings are not new to our ears. The debate over gun control has been relentless with the efforts of gun control by the top people in the government falling on deaf ears. Guns make it easy to kill or injure a person, or even many people, in a short timeframe. “It appears that a single, heavily armed man was able to kill at least 58 people and wound nearly 500 more. He was untrained and unskilled but could direct his high-powered automatic and semiautomatic guns down on a crowd of some 22,000 people at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. This 64-year-old man had no known political, racial, or religious agenda, and there was no history of known mental illness or criminal behavior. But he used his large arsenal of weapons to kill and maim more innocent Americans than anyone else has ever done.” (Campion, et al. 2017). This shows us that just because there are security measures within any venue does not insure that it can protect against assault from outside the venue. Easily available high-powered modern weaponry makes mass killing easy for a determined killer, even an inexperienced one (Campion, et al. 2017). According to David Hemenway, professor of Health Policy and Director of Harvard Injury Control Research Center and APHA member, “11 children are killed with guns every day in the U S (Wahowiak, 2016). With all the shootings occurring we should first and foremost begin with making it far more difficult to acquire a semiautomatic firearms, especially ones that can be easily converted into automatic weapons. “For years under both Republican and Democratic administrations, Congress has been afraid to do anything about regulating guns, even those that are designed for mass shootings” (Campion, et al. 2017). Barack Obama has failed to lobbies ‘pro-gun’ to implement a regulation. Our current political leadership is apparently not willing to promote gun-violence prevention of any kind despite no one in the country wants more mass shootings (Campion, et al. 2017). This goes to prove that we must urge our leaders to take action for us and comes the question of whether are not guns should be banned. With the nation on two different sides it is important to know what science says. Hence the important to fund research.

“Between 2004 and 2015, gun violence research was substantially underfunded and understudied relative to other leading causes of death, based on mortality rates for each cause”(Stark, &Shah, 2017). Gun violence is a public health issue. It’s a leading cause of premature death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 33,594 individuals were killed by firearms in 2014 alone. That’s only about 200 less than the number of people killed in motor vehicle accidents. In 2015, roughly 85,000 people were injured by firearms, including nearly 10,000 children. Questions remain asked like: “Is there really nothing health care professionals can do? We think there is a lot. We need to each ask ourselves what we have done to apply our knowledge and skills to help address the problem since the moment of silence that followed the last mass shooting. More silence is not the answer. Have we demanded funding to adequately study the problem and test solutions? Have we participated in such studies? Have we mobilized forces at our institutions to plan strategies to lower the risks in our communities? Have we talked to our patients about gun safety and effectively challenged policies that would enforce our silence on this matter?”(Taichman, et al., 2017). “Despite its profound public health impact, research into gun violence, its determinants, and what action is needed to avert it, remains severely underfunded”(Rajan, et al., 2018). America should step up and consider reviewing the laws on gun ban in each state. No state should be different from another. No personality should own a gun just for caprice. Everyone should be subject to strict rules. But more than just the rules, we should exercise discipline. Children and adults alike should be educated on the effects of gun ban, or what could happen when a gun control law does not exist in a country. It might take some time for people to accept such law, especially those hunting and ammo enthusiasts. We can all take measures to be responsible in using guns and in convincing people to buy only when they use guns in their line of duty. We need guns to protect us, but we also need to protect our lives from ourselves. A study shows that, although firearms are often kept in homes for personal protection, this practice is counterproductive. Data indicate that keeping a gun at home is independently associated with an increase in home homicide. (Kellermann, et al., 1993). The only headlines that seem to be reoccurring, whether it’s on Channel 5 news is most often the time relating to gun violence. Though violence in America will never completely vanish, since weapons that are designed to kill a mass amount of people at once are accessible to anyone and everywhere. The drawback to this is people runs around and kill each other much like in a violent video game, and mass shootings are becoming a familiar spectacle to America in recent years. Places that are deemed to be safe, like schools and movie theatres in particular, are no longer perceived in this way. This is worrisome to the general public, as they fear for their well-being and safety. These are events that are considered to be the deadliest mass shootings, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary, Colorado movie theatre, the L. A. shooting, and Parkland, Florida High School.

The Founding Fathers decided that weapons ownership should be legal and included an amendment into the Bill of Rights more than 200 years ago was to protect citizens against wild animals and theft. America’s gun debate suffers because of the unreasonable positions taken by the NRA. Gun control advocates who push for bans on one kind of rifle primarily because it was used in an attack also contribute to the problem. Such bans don’t reduce gun crime, but they do stimulate passionate opposition from law-abiding gun owners: Gun control advocates ridicule the NRA’s claim that the government is coming to take away people’s guns, then try to outlaw perhaps the most popular rifle in the country. “In the land of the dollar, Gun is good for business. Before being the defense of a ‘freedom’, the pro-firearms lobby is above all the defense of juicy interests. $ 8.5 billion in revenue per year, and 10,000 jobs according to some estimates” (Bastie, 2015).

There are approaches to gun control, such as universal background checks and cracking down on rogue gun dealers that can reduce the daily death toll from guns. It may seem like a victory for the forces of good to ban assault weapons, but such laws aren’t the answer. Assault weapon bans are bad policy and bad politics. And with gun control as a public health issue more people will be educated on the subject, and they will want to urge their government to fund this issue. Since the shooting in Florida, the Florida Governor has put in regulations to help stop these acts in the future.

 

References

  1. Barbe, O. D. (2018). Action to address gun violence is long overdue. American Medical Association. Retrieved from http://www.wire.ama-assn.org.
  2. Bastie, E. (2015). Port d’armes aux Etats-Unis: Ce que dissent les >. Le Figaro.fr. Retrieved from http://www.lefigaro.fr.
  3. Campion, E. W., Morrissey, S., Malina, D., Sacks, C., & Drazen, J. M. (2017). After the Mass Shooting in Las Vegas – Finding Common Ground on Gun Control. The New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe1713203.
  4. Kellermann, A. L., Rivara, F. P., Rushforth, N. B.,  Banton, J. G. Reay, D. T., Francisco, J. T., Locci, A. B., Prodzinski, J., Hackman, B. B., & Somes, G. (1993). Gun Ownership as a risk Factor for Homicide in the Home. The New England Journal of Medicine. Retrieved from http//www.nejm.org.
  5. Rajan, S., Charles B. C., Hargarten, S., & Allegrante, J. P. (2018). Finding for Gun Violence Research is Key to the Health and Safety of the Nation. The American Journal of Public Health. Vol108. No. 2. DOI: 10. 215/AJPH.2017.304235.  
  6. Strark, E. D., & Shah, N. H. (2017). Funding and Publication of Research on Gun Violence and Other Leading Causes of Death. American Medicine Association. Retrieved from http//www.jama.com.
  7. Taichman, B.D., Bauchner, H., Drazen, J. M., Laine, C., & Peiperl, L. (2017) Firearm-Related Injury and Death – a U.S. Health Care Crisis in Need of Health Care Professionals. The New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe1713355.
  8. Wahowiak, L. (2016). Public heath taking stronger approach to gun violence: APHA, Brady team up on prevention. The American Public Health Association. Retrieved from http//www.thenationshealth.aphapublications.org.
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Gun violence as the USA public health problem. (2021, Oct 14). Retrieved October 27, 2021 , from
https://studydriver.com/gun-violence-as-the-usa-public-health-problem/

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