- In the wake of the recent Orlando nightclub shooting, the American Medical Association decreed gun violence a “public health crisis” and promised to work to strengthen controls over gun safety and ownership.
- On Tuesday, the AMA said it will also actively lobby Congress to overturn a 20-year-old law prohibiting the CDC from conducting research on gun violence.
- The June 12 shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub left 49 people dead and 53 wounded, making it the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.
More than 6,000 people have died from gun violence in the U.S. already this year, according to the AMA.
“With approximately 30,000 men, women and children dying each year at the barrel of a gun in elementary schools, movie theaters, workplaces, houses of worship and on live television, the United States faces a public health crisis of gun violence,” AMA President Steven Stack said in a release.
The group said it advocates legislation calling for a waiting period before purchasing any type of firearm in the U.S., as well as background checks for all handgun purchasers. The AMA also wants to see stricter enforcement of federal and state gun safety laws and heftier penalties for those who commit gun crimes.
The ban on CDC research also needs to be revoked, the group stressed.
“Even as America faces a crisis unrivaled in any other developed country, the Congress prohibits the CDC from conducting the very research that would help us understand the problems associated with gun violence and determine how to reduce the high rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries,” Stack said. “An epidemiological analysis of gun violence is vital so physicians and other health providers, law enforcement, and society at large may be able to prevent injury, death and other harms to society resulting from firearms.”