US Surgeon General Calls Gun Violence A Public Health Issue

Gun Rights

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U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy declared gun violence a public health crisis Tuesday in a 39-page advisory.

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What Happened: Murthy is imploring the nation to confront the issue with the same effort put toward reducing deaths and injuries from tobacco and motor vehicle accidents.

He also emphasized the significant physical and mental toll of gun violence on communities nationwide.

Deaths caused by guns climbed to a three-decade high in 2021 due to higher incidents of homicides and suicides, according to the advisory.

“I want people to understand the full impact of firearm violence in our country, and I want them to see it as a public health issue,” Murthy told the Washington Post. “I know it’s been polarizing and I know it’s been politicized, but if we can see it as a public health issue, we can come together and implement a public health solution.”

As of 2020, firearm-related injuries had become the No. 1 cause of death for children and adolescents ages 1 to 19 in the U.S. It exceeded those from vehicular accidents, cancer and heart disease.

Murthy said one of the reasons for the advisory is the rising number of mass shootings in the past decade, which he says has significant implications for mental health and the well-being of the country.

See Also: At NRA Forum, Donald Trump Vows Unwavering Support For Gun Rights If Elected: ‘No One Will Lay A Finger On Your Firearms’

Why It Matters: There have been 15 mass killings (defined as an attack in which four or more people have died) so far in 2024, according to The Associated Press.

According to Statista.com, 2017 had the greatest number of casualties from a mass shooting on record when a gunmen opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers in Las Vegas. Fifty-eight people died, with a total of 604 victims.

After that shooting, then-President Donald Trump put in place a ban on bump stocks, an accessory that speeds up the rate of fire of semi-automatic weapons (he has since told NRA members that he “did nothing” on guns during his presidency).

Last week, the conservative-leaning Supreme Court struck down the ban.

In March, President Joe Biden signed an executive order on gun control, strengthening background checks — a move that angered Republicans.

He has also urged Congress to tighten gun laws following the Supreme Court ruling, and began circulating clips of Trump, a Republican, saying, “We have to get over it” after an Iowa school shooting in January.

The U.S. had a firearm-related death rate 11.4 times higher than 28 other high-income nations, according to 2015 data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

Price action: Sturm & Ruger Company, Inc. RGR ticked up 0.05% in Tuesday’s early-morning trading, while Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. SWBI gained 0.61% and Olin Corp. OLN slid 2.25%. Vista Outdoor Inc. VSTO declined 0.55% Tuesday morning.

Read now: Altria Vs. British American Tobacco: Which Stock Is Smoking Hot Right Now?

Image by Mickey Mikolauskas from Pixabay

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