Tell the CDC: Gun violence is a public health issue.
As we get well into the summer months, the United States’ devastatingly high rate of deaths from gun violence is on our mind. Despite 45 thinking we can solve the problem with tweets about Chicago, the situation is bleak. Today’s #DailyRevolution is to push the federal government to explore public health solutions to the gun violence epidemic sweeping the country.
Over the Fourth of July weekend, more than 100 people were killed in Chicago, and the number dead from firearms in Baltimore in June was the highest since 1992. Yesterday, Baltimore’s Governor Larry Hogan said he is seeking “any kind of possible solutions” to the devastation.
Well, there may not be any silver bullet solution (sorry, we know), but in recent years experts have lamented the focus on punitive solutions to what is increasingly believed to be a public health crisis. In 2016, the American Medical Association and 141 medical groups came out calling gun
violence in the U.S. “a public health crisis,” yet the federal government continues to sit on their hands, refusing to address the problem.
It’s shocking how little we actually know about this problem; experts on gun violence prevention are calling for data, data, data. Did you know neither the number of deaths caused by police officers nor deaths of police officers are tracked on a national level? And while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that firearms are one of the top five causes of death in America for those under 65, the CDC’s public health research--which includes issues from infectious diseases to car safety--has ignored gun violence for over fifteen years (insane, right?).
Last night, 45 named Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald the new head of the CDC, and we want this to be the first message she hears: gun violence is a public health crisis and should be treated as such.
Send an email to Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald at ADPolicy@cdc.gov using our script below.
Or write a letter to:
Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald
Office of the Associate Director for Policy
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
To CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald,
I’m writing today in light of the rise of gun deaths in 2017 and recent years, and the need to address firearm deaths in the U.S. as a public health crisis. Nearly 100 people in the U.S. die every day from firearms, yet the U.S. government refuses to acknowledge this epidemic. I urge the CDC to recognize the need for data-driven research to address this issue and take steps to ensure policy is based on evidence, not stereotypes.
Want to fix Gun Violence in America? Go Local. - The Guardian
GOP Blocks Dem attempts to Fund Federal Gun Research - The Hill (2016)