Home»Monday Rx»Monday Rx | December 3rd, 2018 | Continuing the Conversation on Gun Control

Monday Rx | December 3rd, 2018 | Continuing the Conversation on Gun Control

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The past two weeks I’ve shared information related to gun violence as a public health issue in the U.S., specifically in the Los Angeles region and most recently in Thousand Oaks. The NRA told doctors to stay in their lanes. I asked membership to weigh in and below are some comments.

“I think organized medicine should treat violence, including gun violence, as an epidemiological health issue. Firearm ownership should include getting an operator’s license and requirements for safe storage and safe use. I think that gun and ammunition hoarding should be considered as a disorder, research needs to be performed on this condition because serious collectors need to be distinguished from pathological hoarders some of whom are dangerous. The NRA has been irresponsible when they try to thwart scientific inquiry into firearm related death and injury. I offer these views from the perspective of a career in Emergency Medicine.”

There is a lot of compelling literature out there that violence generally behaves like infectious disease and that public health interventions can be equally effective in this arena. This means that heat mapping would be useful. This is like what we do for flu. That requiring every gun owner to complete a training course at first purchase and a re certification every year or two would also be useful. If the NRA had the exclusive contract for this training, it would bring them additional income and a potential win-win. The training should include gun safety, depression warning signs, and instruction about how to get help for those in need. This is like what is done with motor vehicles. That a 5% tax on all gun purchases and ammunition purchases could be used to fund shelters for IPV, mental health facilities, free gun lock programs, and sponsored gun buy backs. All of this is like what was done with tobacco. Of course, things like universal background checks, gun violence restraining orders, and restrictions on semi-automatic weapons just make sense but somehow become very political.”

“I feel safer in my house knowing that many doctors have guns in their house, deterring break in robberies. There isn’t research that says keeping guns away from law abiding doctors deters criminals from using them. In fact, places that ban guns are where the crazies go to shoot people. The primary problem is gang related murders. Some parts of the U.S. have gang cultures that promote murders. Other parts of the US the gangs don’t do much killing. Research to promote the gang cultures mindset who don’t kill over those who do may help. Using emotion laden appeals to promote your viewpoint should be left to the politicians. Not the doctors.”

“Thank you for highlighting this critical epidemic in our country. I wish to add that once the acute ER care is done & the dead are buried…. we in psychiatry and mental health see the silent but destructive after effects of the invisible wounds of the living. Yes, physicians MUST stand up for the health needs of our fellow citizens as any of us can be the next victim. Most every country does better on this measure than we do. No reason we have to remain like this.”

“I heard on the news that gun violence is the #1 cause of death for males under 50. As a seasoned medical and public health-oriented doctor, we are playing a catch-up game to better understand what to do. Australia is a shining example of how to successfully reduce gun violence.”

“If the large majority agree then with the help of the trauma surgeons and gross pictures of wounded people, we should start a campaign against assault weapons.”

“I wish to commend you on your effort to open lines of communication. I am responding to your request for feedback regarding your message about gun violence. I think you and many others I have heard might be approaching this with a bit of an antagonistic attitude. I don’t mean that in an unfriendly manner, but as constructive criticism. This is an important issue, and picking fights is often the worst way to resolve an issue with others. I would suggest the method the American College of Surgeons is utilizing to tackle gun violence as a method you might want to explore. They have enlisted gun owners to help them dissect the dilemma and help develop workable solutions. That is a lot different than the confrontational attitude the message from LACMA displays. We don’t need to emulate the methods our politicians utilize to solve problems. Look where it has gotten them. I do thank you for tackling a difficult problem.The best solution often results from a compromise somewhere in the middle. Where both sides get a portion of what they want.

We don’t need disdain, but rather a respect for each other in order to come to a mutual solution. Too bad no one discusses what I fear may be the real issue, and not just with guns. We seem to have a change in our society. When I was young every dad I knew had guns in the home. No one had any of the problems or catastrophes we now find plastered all throughout the media. We have an underlying change in society extending far beyond gun violence.”

“If the NRA stayed in their historical lane, they would be the champions of gun safety and education. Instead they have broadened their charge to resist any controls on gun usage anywhere. Besides being tragically dangerous, there is no justification of any kind to this nihilist approach. I don’t know if this is the sponsorship of the gun manufactures at work, but if the NRA turns its back on injury and preventable death, then doctors will surely address it within their lane. It is high time the medical community take on this public health crisis.”

“Many thanks for making the headline story of your Monday report about gun violence and the atrocious statement from the NRA. I don’t get upset about much, but this really got my attention. Following the Borderline massacre, I felt compelled to write an email to our physicians to help settle the emotions that would erupt that day from the events so close to several of our practices. Your commentary is what is needed to keep this matter “top of mind” so that we continue pushing on the NRA and the “far conservative right” to get meaningful gun control.”

“If physicians had not left “our lane”, re tobacco, would the incidence of smoking have shrunk as much as it has in the last several decades? It is our moral duty to research, lobby, and educate about the public health issues of gun violence. Not a ban. Prohibition doesn’t work. If guns were controlled as much as motor vehicles and driver’s licenses, that I believe, would greatly reduce but not eliminate gun related deaths. I recall when the annual death toll of motor vehicle accidents was 50,000. It is now closer to 30,000 annual deaths. That is less than those killed by guns. Perhaps we can apply seat belt, air bag and better construction principals to guns.”

Click here to read a message from our President, Dr. C Freeman on this topic.

7th Annual Los Angeles Healthcare Awards

What a night it was. More than 200 physician leaders, corporate partners, board members and supporters attended the 7th Annual Los Angeles Healthcare Awards last Friday to benefit the Patient Care Foundation and more specifically, the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU). Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors like L.A. Care Health Plan, Blue Shield, Wells Fargo, Ortho Engineering, The Moore-White Medical Foundation, Conifer Health Solutions, Cedars-Sinai, American Career College, athenahealth and Mercer, $20,000 was donated to CDU!  I wanted to personally thank all attendees, the Foundation board, LACMA’s board of directors and the students of CDU for making this a night to remember.

See the album here.


One of our members, Dr. Glenna Tolbert reached out to let us know that she is renting out her medical office space in Encino and Beverly Hills for providers to share. The cost is $1,750.00 per month for 1 day per week. The price includes the services of a medical assistant.


Deadline Looming for Membership Renewals
Due by December 31st
Please also remember to renew your membership for 2019. It is critical to not only increase membership and grow our organization but also strengthen current engagement and participation. That can only happen with your continued membership.


Gustavo Friederichsen
Chief Executive Officer
Los Angeles County Medical Association
“If it matters to our LACMA members, it matters to me.”

EVENTS AND COMMUNITY

CME Programs


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WHEN: March 21 to 23, 2019
WHERE: Waldorf Astoria, Las Vegas
3752 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Click here for more information.

This two-and-a-half-day symposium has been designed by experts in the field of hematologic malignancies and affords the conference attendee specialized educational tracks for both physicians and nurses, providing an opportunity to learn about the most recent advances in the treatment of bone marrow transplant, multiple myeloma, lymphoma and leukemia.


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