AMA president calls physicians to lead in addressing gun violence

(HealthDay)—The issue of gun violence must be addressed by the physician leadership scientifically, in an evidence-based manner, according to remarks issued by the president of the American Medical Association (AMA) at the organization’s annual meeting.

David O. Barbe, M.D., issued a call to action for physician leadership to aid in the reduction of gun violence. Two years after declaring gun violence a public health crisis, and as more than 30,000 Americans continue to die annually from gun violence, he outlined why physicians have a responsibility to lead in this issue.

In his speech, Barbe described the gun violence seen in the United States, which claims the lives of nearly 100 people per day. For decades the AMA has demonstrated leadership on this issue, recommending common-sense gun safety precautions, waiting periods and background checks for those wishing to purchase a gun, and increased mental health service funding. Furthermore, the AMA has called on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct epidemiological research on gun violence. The issue of gun violence should be addressed by continuing to search for and advocate science-based solutions.

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