SAAAPM Statement on Gun Violence 

June 14, 2022


Almost ten years ago (Dec 14, 2012), at Sandy Hook Elementary school, the nation witnessed one of the deadliest mass shootings in US history utilizing a semi-automatic rifle. This past couple of weeks, we as educators witnessed the death of two colleagues and the death of 19 children in Uvalde, TX, and the death of two physicians and members of their team in Tulsa, OK. As diversity officers, on May 14, 2022, we witnessed the loss of ten people in what authorities described as “racially motivated violent extremism” in Buffalo, NY (Associated Press, May 14, 2022).

We are saddened and fatigued. In fact, we are enraged.

The CDC reports that “in 2020, there were 45,222 firearm-related deaths in the United States…about 124 people dying from a firearm-related injury each day.”

Heinous murders such as these signal an ongoing epidemic within our nation, with no signs of extinction and with irreparable consequences. Murders of innocent children and murders surrounding racism are enabled by partisan edicts of Congress. We are no longer willing to complacently accept the rhetoric of the gun lobby and the National Rifle Association.

Gun violence is yet another national health crisis and as educators and socially responsible physician leaders within the SAAAPM, we are committed to the elimination of this health crisis. We stand with the medical organizations and societies that have taken a public stance against gun violence.

We call for stricter gun laws: at a minimum, age 21 for purchasing a gun, mandatory education and licensure for gun ownership, removal of assault-style weapons for public purchase, mandatory universal background checks, AND increased funding to support mental health resources for diagnosis and treatment.

Disability from gun violence and death are preventable. Websites such as this one, https://publichealthcoalition.com/safe/ created by the collaboration of Public Health Coalition and Scrubs Addressing the Firearms Epidemic (SAFE) provide opportunities for all of us to educate others and promote a healthier future for everyone. Join us and thousands of other physicians across our nation in fighting this public health crisis.

Use your power at the polls and the power of your dollar, your intellect, and your standing as a physician. Harness the power of every resource that you command to join in this fight for survival in the United States of America.