Public Health Problem

Let’s put this in perspective, now.  Gun violence is a public health issue.  Period.  We reduced other public health threats by taking appropriate action.  We can fix this one too.

From the Journal of the American Medical Association — information on how we reduced deaths from other causes and what we need to do to reduce deaths from this one:

Public Health approach to Guns

(Mozaffarian D, Hemenway D, Ludwig DS. Curbing Gun Violence: Lessons From Public Health Successes. JAMA. 2013;():1-2. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.38.)

But of course, this shows the heart of the problem:

more alcohol

More guns aren’t the answer.  Guns in schools and shopping malls and office buildings aren’t the answer.  Fewer guns — and guns with smaller magazines that’s the ticket.

To contact your Congressional representative and Senators and ask them to help enact reasonable gun laws, follow these links:

House of Representatives:  http://www.house.gov/representatives/

Senate:  http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

61 Comments

Filed under Elections, Gun control, Health and Medicine, Humor, Hypocrisy, Law, Mental Health, Stupidity

61 responses to “Public Health Problem

  1. You know how I feel about this. I agree with GOF and this reader thanks you for your words of reason, appealing for reason, searching for reason — why are we up against a wall? Will we ever break through it?

  2. GOF

    Keep up the good fight Elyse. The argument that more guns = more safety is just unintelligent stupidity.

  3. Snoring Dog Studio

    My words to my representatives were useless. I’m in Idaho. People here will hang on to their guns and stockpile even more. I just hope the rest of the country has some sense.

  4. Wonderfully done (as always). The comparisons are marvelous.

  5. I think everyone should walk around naked. no concealed weapons. That’ll curb a bunch right there…

  6. Since Columbine I have thought that the parallel with an automobile is reasonable. I can own as many cars as I like, but all must be registered. When I sell one the title must be transferred. The new owner must register it. I must carry insurance on my vehicles. I must have a license to operate my vehicles. I must pass tests. I must be able to present a license and a registration, and when I use my vehicle incorrectly I am penalized. This makes sense to me. All of it can relate to gun ownership.

  7. I love this, Elyse, thank you. Sharing it on FB now.

  8. Reblogged this on benzeknees and commented:
    This has been my position all along. In Canada we also have helmet legislation to ensure less deaths from vehicle accidents. There are many steps we can take to reduce gun deaths without the silliness of increasing the gun toting populace.

  9. Considering there was another @#%@# today in Arizona, these ideas seem more than @#$!@@# reasonable.

    • And did you see how we women need not just guns, but scary looking guns.

      Yes, Gayle Trotter of The Independent Women’s Forum who testified at today’s hearing on gun control taught me a thing or two. That thing being that there are women out there who are as fucking crazy as Wayne LaPierre. Lord help us all!

  10. There was a gun show 2 weeks ago at the national guard armory very close to my home. It was reported in the paper that “It’s the best turnout we ever had.” “Assault weapons were a hot item.” I feel so safe….NOT. I just do not understand this mentality. I’m so glad you are bringing awareness to this issue. Thank you!

  11. Hear, hear, Elyse. Now add in a dollop–a VERY big dollop–of improved mental health services.

    • I do agree, but I don’t know how workable that is. I’ve recently spoken with some mental health folks who argue the other way — that (1) most folks with mental health problems are not violent; and (2) that having mental health practitioners “tell” on them will make them less likely to get the help they need. And the ones who are likely to become violent are the ones who need the most help and are likely to become too paranoid to get it fearing that their doctors will tell. It is troubling to think about.

      Also, have you noticed that many of the people saying we need to make sure that folks with mental illness get help are the same ones who want to cut every single social program on the books? Gee, I’m sure they’ll fund mental health next year when the furor over 12/14 dies down.

      • Different people mean different things when they talk about mental health services in the context of a discussion about gun violence. Some people mean setting up some kind of registry of “dangerous” mentally ill people, banning them from buying guns, and maybe offering them a few services; other people mean making mental health services more available and affordable for everyone. I think that second approach could be very helpful.

        • It would be great. But with the attitudes prevalent I think it is being used as a smoke screen. Me, I’m all in favor of giving folks the help they need.

  12. That analogy to alcohol and drunk driving is perfect. What a great post, and you’re right, it is indeed a public health problem. Must go share this on Twitter.

  13. Some good ideas here Elyse, and there can never be too many good ideas. But as I just mentioned to another commenter, I think the only real solution is to find a way to put enough pressure on both the House and the Senate, so that our elected representatives will be more afraid of not voting for more gun control, than they are afraid of voting for gun control and against the NRA. But how to do that in a way that would actually work, is a tall order.

    These days, more than ever before, most members of Congress are motivated by only two things – money and votes. Doing the right thing just because it’s the right thing to do, such as saving lives from proliferating gun violence, seldom motivates Congress at all. Sadly pathetic, but true.

    But thanks for including the links for the House and Senate, because we have to start somewhere, and that is where we start. Political grassroots movements have succeeded before, so we have to do all that we can to start a political movement that will succeed in restoring common sense and sanity to our gun laws, because people’s lives depend upon stopping the madness of ineffectively restricted gun and ammo proliferation, and availability.

    • Popular opinion is swaying our way, so I am hopeful. And I think that our side is going to put as much pressure on members of Congress as the other folks — so again, I’m hopeful.

      It’s just time to start.

  14. We can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We have to start somewhere and keep assailing the problem until we have turned the tide of innocents being murdered by too easily accessible guns. Thank you Elyse. I appreciate your continued crusade on this issue and I’ll pass on your links to those who request what they can do to be more pro-active in this matter.

    • I can’t seem to stop myself, Eleanor. I watched parts of those hearings today — they made my blood boil.

      And yes, we do have to start somewhere. Now!

  15. My vote goes for education and a background check on every gun handler from the time it leaves the factory.

    • I want to get rid of the semi-automatics and the big magazines. I have little faith in education as a tool in this instance. On a grander scale, educating more people leading to a more enlightened civilization would be good.

  16. There really is no reason that gun makers couldn’t make it so only a legally registered gun owner could shoot any particular gun. This would solve the problem of “guns falling into the wrong hands”. But alas, it would not solve the problem of some person in an irrational moment pulling out his or her gun to solve a problem. Fewer guns would result in fewer shootings. I can live with that.

    • I’m sure that there are all kinds of technological advances that could help, but they won’t be doing that any time soon. At this point, fewer “scary” guns, guns with big magazines resulting in fewer fatalities would make me happy. Happier.

  17. Jueseppi B.

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    A Public Health Problem that the NRAssholes have lobbied our court system AND won the right to prevent the Centers For Disease Control from keeping statistics on, from tracking and from talking about publicly.

  18. Elyse, Elyse, Elyse. Do you the problem with this approach? It make too much sense. We’re dealing with irrational people. You can’t appeal to an irrational person’s or group’s sense of reason. Assault weapons=all guns=safety from enemies near and far=God-given rights=America=Apple pie=Damn straight, I’m right and you’re wrong.

    • What you wrote just literally spoke my thoughts. But we have to keep on trying to solve this problem in any way that we can, because lives depend upon it. Personally, I think the only real solution is to find a way to put enough pressure on both the House and the Senate, so that our elected representatives will be more afraid of not voting for more gun control, than they are afraid of voting for gun control and against the NRA. But how to do that in a way that would actually work, is a tall order.

      These days, more than ever before, most members of Congress are motivated by only two things – money and votes. Doing the right thing just because it’s the right thing to do, such as saving lives from proliferating gun violence, seldom motivates Congress at all. Sadly pathetic, but true.

      • I am hoping that 12/14 (as some of the families have asked it be referred to) has made staying in the pocket of the NRA a bit more difficult. Time will tell.

    • Yeah, logic. I keep forgetting how silly it is of me to keep offering it up. Forgive me????

  19. I think the parallels to automotive/driving regulations make so much sense. Training, testing for competence, registration, rules to promote safety, etc. I heart you too!

    • Thanks Lisa. I really think this stuff makes sense. The JAMA article was more extensive, more informative, but the table made the point. We just need to apply tried and true methods. No remedy is perfect and there will always be some gun violence (just like there are still drunk driving fatalities and people who continue to smoke in spite of knowing the risks). But improvement? Making it less socially acceptable? Those are all good things.

      I heart you too, Lisa! But I miss your writing — you haven’t been blogging nearly enough!

  20. Excellent work. Will this completely cut down on gun violence? Of course not. Would it help. Certainly.

  21. twindaddy

    Elyse, I heart you. That’s all I’m gonna say.

  22. While these all seem like good ideas -and some are- the economy is too far globalized for some of these to work completely. Reduced clip sizes and limit access to “assault”-type weapons? I’ll just buy them elsewhere and ship them here.

    I am all for reasonable gun control, but until we find a way to stop illegal items from coming into the country completely, nothing will be completely effective.

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