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How Can Physicians Assist With Gun Violence Prevention

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The United States continues to struggle with an epidemic of firearm violence. Physicians are in a unique position to assess risk, provide education and change behaviors related to gun violence, and they may also address this issue more broadly as a consumer safety and public health issue.

The California Medical Association (CMA) recently convened the Firearm Violence Prevention Technical Advisory Committee, composed of physician experts. The committee performed a comprehensive review and analysis of existing CMA policy, epidemiological data and current scientific research and developed a CMA position statement on the prevention of firearm violence.

“CMA recognizes that fundamentally, firearm violence is a human and civil rights matter; it violates the fundamental human right to life, liberty, and security of person—the right to live safely without fear in a free society,” the committee wrote in the position statement. “As with other public health issues, physicians have a unique responsibility as trusted public health figures to respond to the harms associated with firearm violence, both as individual clinicians and as community advocates.”

Through the committee’s work, CMA has identified several opportunities and resources that may aid physicians in addressing firearm violence as a public health issue. Learn more about what you can do to help prevent gun violence at www.cmanet.org/firearm-violence.

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