American Academy of Family Physicians Shares Position Paper on Gun Violence; Implores National Leaders to Take Action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Statement attributable to:
John Cullen, MD
President
American Academy of Family Physicians

“The American Academy of Family Physicians is deeply saddened by the Oct. 27 mass shooting that killed 11 people and injured another six at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and we express our heartfelt condolences to the communities and families of those who were killed.

“Family medicine lost one of its own in this massacre. Jerry Rabinowitz, MD, a family physician who cared for patients in Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield neighborhood, reportedly lost his life when he rushed to help the victims after hearing gunshots.

“As a nation, we must change the policies that have failed to address the violence caused by those using firearms. As physicians, we see the horrific impact of firearm-related injuries and death and the long-term toll they take on the lives of our patients.

“In the AAFP’s gun violence position paper and along with our medical colleagues representing more than 450,000 physicians, the AAFP has called on the Administration and Congress to prevent such  violence by labeling it as a public health epidemic, appropriately funding research into the causes and prevention of gun violence, and establishing constitutionally appropriate restrictions on large-capacity magazines and firearms designed for rapid firing.

“Our national policy must increase research into the epidemiology and prevention of gun violence, as well as the impact of gun laws and regulations on injuries, deaths and suicides. We must have strong enforcement of existing state, federal and local laws on the manufacture, sale and possession of guns, including private ownership of weapons designed to quickly fire more than 10 rounds.

“The AAFP urges our national leaders to step forward and address gun violence as an epidemic in the same way we have treated other threats to public health. We must identify the causes of gun violence and take evidence-based approaches to prevent future suffering.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Cullen, contact Leslie Champlin, (800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224, or lchampli@aafp.org.

 

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 131,400 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

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