First Saturday of the Month: Time for MCP!
Since November, the Movement for a Culture of Peace has held a public forum the first Saturday morning of every month. February 7 will be no exception, and we invite you to what will be a provocative panel discussion of the public health issues raised by gun violence at Trinity Episcopal Church.
Why think of gun violence as a public health problem?
Consider this from the Journal of the American Medical Association in winter 2013, just after the Newtown, Conn. school shooting:
Injury prevention research can have real and lasting effects. Over the last 20 years, the number of Americans dying in motor vehicle crashes has decreased by 31%.1 Deaths from fires and drowning have been reduced even more, by 38% and 52%, respectively.1 This progress was achieved without banning automobiles, swimming pools, or matches. Instead, it came from translating research findings into effective interventions.
Given the chance, could researchers achieve similar progress with firearm violence? It will not be possible to find out unless Congress rescinds its moratorium on firearm injury prevention research. Since Congress took this action in 1997, at least 427 000 people have died of gunshot wounds in the United States, including more than 165 000 who were victims of homicide.1 To put these numbers in context, during the same time period, 4586 Americans lost their lives in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.10
The United States has long relied on public health science to improve the safety, health, and lives of its citizens. Perhaps the same straightforward, problem-solving approach that worked well in other circumstances can help the nation meet the challenge of firearm violence. Otherwise, the heartache that the nation and perhaps the world is feeling over the senseless gun violence in Newtown will likely be repeated, again and again.
Yet, as the full article points out, the gun lobby actively works to prevent the gathering of data by the CDC and other entities that would allow the very same injury prevention research to focus on gun violence.
This is just one of the things that will be discussed at the Movement for a Culture of Peace forum on Feb. 7. Our panelists will be:
Pediatrician David Chen, M.D., M.P.H., Nemours/A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children
Zak Kozberg, Constituency Organizer, Americans for Responsible Solutions
LaVaida Owens-White, Nurse Consultant, Christ Our King Parish
The discussion will be moderated by George Higgins, acting director of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence.
A new feature of the Saturday morning forum will be more time devoted to networking opportunities. Come as an individual or representing your organization. This is the Movement you need to connect the dots between us, to work together toward a culture of peace.