Surgeon General Vivek Murthy states he does not regret calling gun violence a public health issue, despite backlash. Murthy was confirmed in December despite opposition from the National Rifle Association. He has framed gun violence as a public health issue drawing comparisons to seat belts and swimming pool safety. More >>
Members of the medical community have been advocating for a new approach to resolving gun violence by treating gun violence as a public health problem. This controversial and fairly new approach aims to tackle the conversations on gun control and make them more inclusive of solutions outside of political and ideological argumentation. Doctors and medical associations state that designating gun violence a public health problem will reduce gun related mortality, and that with that designation, doctors could counsel patients on safe gun usage and storage.
Many Republicans and gun lobbyists have opposed this proposal, as they believe it another attempt to restrict gun ownership and potentially seize firearms. However, supporters state that this is not a political matter.
The CDC has already recognized violence as a public health issue with or without the involvement of firearms, and the American College of Physicians has been calling gun violence an epidemic since 1995. While gun violence since then has decreased dramatically, it is still estimated that more than 478,000 fatal and nonfatal violent crimes were committed with a firearm in 2011 according to the Department of Justice. More>>
Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine currently conducts interdisciplinary research on violence as a public health problem. Learn more about Tulane research projects.