Is gun violence an epidemic in the U.S.? Experts and history say it is

Experts and history consider the current state of gun violence in the United States an epidemic, with a sharp rise in deaths and injuries related to firearms.

Defining the problem: Doctors and public health officials use the term “epidemic” to denote the increasing number of people affected by gun-related injuries and deaths in recent years.
* Patrick Carter, director of the University of Michigan Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention, regards the issue of firearm injuries and violence as an epidemic, referring to it as a substantial increase over what is considered a baseline level.

The labeling context: The label of “epidemic” presents the issue as a public health emergency or crisis.
* Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and President Biden have both referred to the deaths and injuries from firearms as an “epidemic”.
* The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research held a symposium titled “Addressing Gun Violence as a Public Health Epidemic” to focus on prevention, harm reduction, and culture-shifting measures.

By the numbers: Gun-related deaths rose sharply between 2019 and 2021.
* Pew Research Center reported a 23 percent increase in gun deaths from 2019 to 2021.
* The number of gun deaths in 2021, 48,830, is the highest on record according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
* Surges of gun violence were recorded over holidays, and there have been over 300 mass shootings this year.

Historical perspective: The U.S. has seen similar patterns in gun violence previously.
* The rate of gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2021 was the highest since the early 1990s and near the peak rate of 16.3 deaths per 100,000 people in 1974.
* In the 1990s, rises in gun deaths were also referred to as an epidemic by the National Institutes of Health.

Addressing the issue: Viewing gun violence as a public health issue can help devise data-driven solutions.
* Various strides toward curbing gun violence have been made, including the American Medical Association calling for strengthened background checks, limiting the sale of multiple firearms, and encouraging social media companies to remove posts glorifying firearm violence.
* Suggestions to tackle gun violence also include establishing purchaser licensing requirements and implementation of community violence intervention programs in low-income communities.

View original article on NPR

This summary was created by an AI system. The use of this summary is subject to our Terms of Service.

Contact us about this post






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *