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Gun Violence Is a Public Health Emergency That Can Be Solved: Expert
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By News
Published 10 months ago on
June 22, 2023

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Danial Webster, a health expert and distinguished scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions. says that gun violence is definitely a public health emergency and can also be considered an epidemic.

That’s because gun violence is the leading cause of death for a large portion of society, including many young people, and has analogies to things like infectious diseases.

He said that gun violence has a significant impact on mortality risk, injury risk, and mental health, with rates of gun violence greatly impacted by the health conditions in the places where people live.

A Proven Gun Violence Reduction Policy

Webster said that the policy found to have the largest impact on reducing gun violence is purchaser licensing requirements for gun buyers.

These policies have shown significant reductions in firearm homicides and suicides, around 30%. He says we’ve also seen large decreases in fatal mass shootings associated with firearm purchaser licensing.

“And we’ve even seen lower levels of gun violence involving law enforcement officers, both as victims being shot in the line of duty or shooting civilians in the line of duty,” Webster told NPR.

“So simply, this is a policy that decreases the availability of guns in risky situations and with risky individuals. It has high public support, and it affects multiple forms of gun violence. So that, I think, is very achievable.”

Webster added: “I have other examples. But the main thing I want to underscore is that there are actually many solutions out there that we have not used sufficiently and would make a tremendous impact on mortality rates and general well-being and even, frankly, the economic conditions of communities.”

Listen to the entire interview on NPR.org

Listen to the entire interview on NPR.org

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