Guns, public health, and politics

Because the White House’s nominee for surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, tweeted in 2012 that “guns are a health care issue,” the gun lobby took issue and Murthy’s nomination is now in jeopardy. But David Hemenway of Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) thinks that promoting reasonable gun policies doesn’t mean public health professionals are “anti-gun.”

Given the fallout from gun-related violence— homicides, suicides, injuries, widespread PTSD—Hemenway, professor of health policy at HSPH and director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, thinks it’s crucial to consider the public health impact of firearms. “Gun violence traumatizes whole communities,” he said in an April 3, 2014 New Republic article.

Read the New Republic article: “Are Guns a Public Health Issue? Let’s Count the Ways…

Learn more

Guns & Suicide: The Hidden Toll (Harvard Public Health)

Comprehensive public health approach urged to curb gun violence in U.S. (HSPH release)

States with higher levels of gun ownership have higher homicide rates (HSPH release)