Over the last few years there has been an increased number of high-profile mass shooting events that have raised the social awareness of gun violence. The prevalence of these incidents seems to be on the rise. With each new event, emotions rise and the cry for action increases. This past week the violence hit closer to home than ever, with the loss of one of our own physicians in her own emergency department at Mercy Hospital in Chicago.
As emergency physicians we, the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians, are on the front lines in treating those affected by these events. On a daily basis, we witness the results of gun violence as the result of domestic events, mental illness, carelessness, and domestic terrorism. As medical professionals, our obligation is to educate the public, provide the best care possible to all those we encounter in need of assistance. It is also our obligation to advocate for common sense gun laws and public health funding to research and provide for public health policy that may help stem the ongoing tide of violence.
Gun violence in America has no simple solution. It is a multifaceted issue with strong political, emotional, and personal undertones. Any solution to the issue of gun violence will require the desire and fortitude of many to make a meaningful impact on the issue.
Christine F. Giesa, DO, FACOEP