AOA President John W. Becher, DO, an emergency physician, today issued a statement calling for legislators to fund Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research into the causes and prevention of gun violence:
“Every American knows that gun violence has escalated dramatically, with mass shootings occurring so often as to become commonplace in our culture. What people don’t see is the increasing severity of victims’ injuries. As a recent study found, death rates for hospitalized gunshot victims climbed an average of 6 percent every two years at one hospital while fatalities for other traumas declined. More and more victims are arriving at our hospitals with two or more gunshot wounds and we as physicians are less able to save them.
“It is time for Congress to fund Centers for Disease Control research into the causes and prevention of gun violence. Osteopathic physicians are taught to find the root cause of disease and we urge legislators to help solve this unending public health crisis by investing in the scientific search for understanding. That is why the AOA’s House of Delegates approved policy in support of funding CDC research to help address this public health crisis impacting our communities and nation.
“I also urge the American Osteopathic Association’s Board of Trustees to use its resources to sponsor objective research that will help our nation address the epidemic of gun violence. Our profession is grounded in the principle of prevention and as osteopathic physicians we are obligated to shift our attention from treating endless trauma to preventing further harm.”