National Student Petition Against Gun Violence
The National Rifle Association (NRA) recently released its "Enemies List" which named the American Medical Student Association and numerous other health professional organizations. In light of the growing threat of gun violence in the United States, this petition seeks to embrace our NRA enemy status as health professions students and to urge the Obama Administration and Congress to adopt a comprehensive strategy to limit gun violence and protect public health.
1. Gun safety is a public health issue.
2. Counseling about gun safety falls within the legitimate domain of medicine and public health and should be encouraged.
3. Greater public health research is warranted to create appropriate gun control policy.
4. Mandatory background checks for all gun purchases is necessary.
5. Denial criteria should be expanded to include those convicted of a violent misdemeanor.
6. A restriction on purchasing combat equipment for military use or law enforcement (e.g. assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, or armor-piercing munitions) is a necessity to protect public health and do not diminish the rights of hunters or those who wish to protect themselves.
7. Increased access to mental health services is needed to help reduce gun violence.
(1) CDC, Assault or Homicide, 2010. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm