US Surgeon General declares firearm-related violence a public health crisis

0
10

The United States surgeon general is declaring gun violence a national public health crisis. 

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory on Tuesday stating that firearm-related violence and its immediate psychological ramifications on victims and bystanders has severely compromised public health.

“Today, for the first time in the history of our office, I am issuing a Surgeon General’s Advisory on firearm violence,” Murthy said in a video announcement. “It outlines the urgent threat firearm violence poses to the health and well-being of our country.”

SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS FEDERAL GUN BAN FOR THOSE UNDER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDERS

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy released a special advisory on firearm violence on Tuesday, calling gun-related incidents a public health crisis. (Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty Images)

“As a doctor, I’ve seen the consequences of firearm violence up close and the lives of the patients that cared for over the years,” the surgeon general continued. “These are moms and dads, sons and daughters, all of whom were robbed of their physical and mental health by senseless acts of violence.”

The advisory states that 54% of adults in America have experienced a firearm-related incident. These experiences with firearm violence include individuals who have been threatened with a gun (21%), lost a family member in a gun-related death (19%), witnessed a shooting (17%), and been wounded by a firearm (4%).

The 54% figure also includes adults who have fired a gun in self-defense (4%). The gun-related death statistic includes those who committed suicide via firearm.

The report noted different demographics are affected in different ways by gun violence. 

Black individuals suffer the highest rate of gun deaths. American Indians, Alaskan Natives, elderly white people, and military veterans are at the highest risk suicide by firearm.

“Beyond these precious lives that are lost to firearm violence, there are wider ripples of harm to those who are injured, who witnessed the incidents, who live in urban and rural communities where such violence takes place, and who constantly read and hear about firearm violence,” Murthy stated.

MARYLAND GOVERNOR SIGNS BIDEN-INSPIRED BILL ESTABLISHED ‘CENTER FOR FIREARM VIOLENCE PREVENTION’

Vivek Murthy

Murthy wrote in the report that the direct casualties of gun violence are compounded by psychological ramifications inflicted on victims and bystanders. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

He added, “The collective trauma and fear that Americans are experiencing is contributing to the mental health challenges that we are facing today. Nearly 6 in 10 U.S. adults say they worry about a loved one being a victim of firearm violence.”

The public advisory on firearm-related violence is the first document of its kind released by the Surgeon General’s Office.