Via the blog of Dr. Philip Alcabes: Gun Violence: The Silence of the Officials. Excerpt:
A week after the murderous fusillade in Aurora, Colorado, not one public health official has stepped forward to call for gun control.
Attribute the 9 deaths and dozens of injuries in Aurora to the rash act of an unbalanced man if you wish. But what about the tens of thousands of other deaths caused by firearms in the U.S. each year?
If HIV infection (9,406 deaths in 2011) and painkiller overdose (estimated at 15,000 deaths per year, according to a report by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) are public health problems worth discussion, why not firearms? In 2009, the last year for which complete data are available, there were 31,347 deaths by firearm in the US, according to the US National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
At The Pump Handle, Celeste Monforton — always worth reading — provides the data showing how out-of-scale America’s gun problem is on the global public health scene: Our gun-violence death rates are an order of magnitude higher than those of other wealthy nations.
At CNN, Daniel Webster calls for America to wake up to the public health problem of guns. ”America’s high rate of gun violence is shameful,” Webster writes. ”When will we change?”
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg can be a tyrant when it comes to personal habits that he thinks impair the city’s health, but he has been courageously forthright on the need to control firearms.
But, like me, Monforton and Webster are academics. And Mike Bloomberg is, well, Mike Bloomberg.
Where are the health officials?
Here in Canada we've looked at our neighbours' gun problem with concern for a long time. The Tyee recently compiled a list of its articles on the subject, including my own take on the subject back in 2004.