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US Surgeon General announces gun violence as a public health crisis | WGN Radio 720

U.S. Surgeon General Declares Gun Violence a Public Health Crisis

U.S. Surgeon General Declares Gun Violence a Public Health Crisis

In a bold move on Tuesday, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy declared gun violence a public health crisis, pointing to the alarming rise in injuries and deaths involving firearms across the country. The advisory comes as the nation grapples with yet another weekend marred by mass shootings that have left dozens dead or wounded.

“People want to be able to walk through their neighborhoods and be safe,” Murthy expressed in an interview with The Associated Press. “America should be a place where all of us can go about our daily lives without having to worry about our safety being compromised.”

To combat the rising gun deaths, Murthy has called for several key measures, including banning automatic rifles, implementing universal background checks for gun purchases, regulating the industry, passing laws to restrict gun use in public spaces, and penalizing those who do not securely store their weapons.

However, the implementation of these suggestions on a national scale would require legislative action from Congress, which has historically been hesitant to enact strict gun control measures. While some state legislatures may consider Murthy’s proposals, the surgeon general’s advisory is expected to face backlash from Republican lawmakers who have opposed his stance on gun violence.

Despite the potential controversy, Murthy emphasized the urgent need to address the issue of gun violence, citing a poll indicating that most Americans fear for the safety of their loved ones in relation to firearms. With over 48,000 gun-related deaths in 2022 alone, the urgency of the situation cannot be understated.

Murthy’s advisory, titled “Firearm Violence: A Public Health Crisis in America,” sheds light on the disproportionate impact of gun violence on children and younger Americans. The surge in gun-related suicides among individuals under 35 and the higher likelihood of children in the U.S. dying from gun wounds compared to other countries underscore the severity of the crisis.

In addition to advocating for new regulations, Murthy is calling for increased research on gun violence and for the healthcare system to prioritize gun safety education during patient visits. By elevating the issue of gun violence to a public health crisis, Murthy seeks to prompt a transformation in how the nation addresses this pressing issue, drawing parallels to the impactful 1964 surgeon general’s report that sparked significant changes in the regulation of tobacco use.

As the nation grapples with the devastating toll of gun violence, Dr. Murthy’s advisory serves as a clarion call for urgent action to prevent further loss of life and promote a safer future for all Americans.

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