AMA wants policy that calls gun violence a public health crisis

The American Medical Association (AMA) announces to adopt a policy that will call gun violence in the US a public health crisis, in wake of mass shooting in Orlando, Florida that took place on Sunday. AMA also said it will lobby Congress to cancel 20-year-old legislation that has prevented research on gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There’s ban on federal research on gun violence since 1996, when the National Rifle Association lobbied Congress prevented any gun research that could be endorsing gun control. The author of that legislation, then-Rep. Jay Dickey, R-Ark in October said that he regrets that his law has had a broader effect.

Dickey said that stopping all research was not necessary. What they wanted was to stop collection of data so to advocate gun control. However, all the research work just stopped altogether.

AMA said it has been supporting gun control since the 1980s. In 2013, the association said that the uncontrolled ownership and use of firearms was a serious threat to public health because weapons are one of the main causes of intentional and unintentional injuries and deaths.

“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”, said AMA President Steven J. Sack.

Orlando mass shooting caused death to 50 people and injured 48 more. The incident took place in an Orlando night club, where a US citizen killed many people. The exact motive behind the shooting isn’t yet clear.

“Days after the nation’s deadliest mass shooting, the American Medical Association (AMA) voted for the first time Tuesday to declare gun violence a “public health crisis” and to “actively lobby” to allow federal research on guns,” according to a news report published by The Hill.

The near-unanimous vote, though mostly symbolic, is a significant step that will push the powerful doctors group into a fierce political battle with Second Amendment supporters who have long argued that gun-related violence is no different from other violent acts.

It’s the first time the AMA’s policy-making arm has called the epidemic a “public health crisis” — the same language that sparked controversy in 2014 and nearly blocked U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy from his confirmation.

According to a story published on the topic by NPR, “Days after the deadly mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., the American Medical Association says it is adopting a policy calling gun violence in the U.S. “a public health crisis” and it says it will actively lobby Congress to overturn 20-year-old legislation blocking research on gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

“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,” AMA President Steven J. Sack said in a statement.

The AMA, the largest physicians group in the U.S., says it has supported gun control since the 1980s, and as recently as 2013, the association called the uncontrolled ownership and use of firearms “a serious threat to public health” because “the weapons are one of the main causes of intentional and unintentional injuries and deaths.”

A report published in Nbc News informed, “Uncontrolled gun ownership is a serious threat to public health — and Congress needs to pay for research on the hot-button issue, the American Medical Association said Tuesday.”

“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 Dr. Steven Stack said in a statement.

But Congress has blocked federal health agencies from the researching — or even paying for the research of — gun violence since the 1990s. President Barack Obama directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to pay for and undertake gun safety research, but Congress sent a clear message by appropriating no money for the CDC to do so.

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