The American Medical Association pushing a political agenda?
American Medical Association pushes an ‘unprecedented’ gun control agenda. Dr. Nicole Sapphire weighs.
CHICAGO – With frustration mounting over the lawmakers’ inaction on gun control, the American Medical Association on Tuesday pressed for a ban on assault weapons and came out against the arming of teachers as a way to fight against what it calls a public health crisis.
At the annual policy-making meeting, the nation’s largest group of doctors bow before unprecedented requirements of the physician-members have a stronger stand on gun violence — a problem of the organisations says is just as dangerous as a deadly infectious disease.
The action comes against a background of recurrent school shootings, the daily street violence in american inner cities, and the rise in U.S. suicide rates.
“We as doctors are the witnesses of the human toll of this disease,” Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency-medicine specialist at Brown University, said at the meeting.
AMA delegates voted to adopt a number of nearly a dozen gun-related proposals presented by the arts groups that are part of the AMA’s membership. They agreed to:
— Support of a ban on the purchase or possession of weapons and ammunition by persons under the age of 21.
— Back laws that would require licensing and safety courses for gun owners and registration of all firearms.
— Press for legislation that would allow family members of suicidal people or people that threatened imminent violence to seek court-ordered removal of the guns from the house.
— To promote the better training for doctors in how to recognize patients at risk for suicide.
— Push to eliminate loopholes in the laws preventing the purchase or possession of weapons by persons, who are guilty of domestic violence, such as the extension of such measures to cover convicted stalkers.
Many AMA members of gun owners or supporters, including a doctor from Montana who told delegates of the learn to shoot at a shooting range in the basement of her high school as part of gym class. But the support for a ban of assault weapons was overwhelming, with the measure in a 446-99 votes.
“There is a place to start and this would have been,” Dr. Jim Hinsdale, a San Jose, California, trauma surgeon, said before the vote.
Gun violence is not a new problem for the AMA; it has supported in the past efforts to put a ban on assault weapons; declared gun violence a public health crisis back-background checks, waiting times and better funding for mental health services; and pressed for more research on gun violence prevention.
April 19, 2018: Crosses that victims of armed violence outside Collins Academy High School in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood. With frustration mounting over the lawmakers’ inaction on gun control, the American Medical Association on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, pressed for a ban on assault weapons and came out against the arming of teachers as a way to fight against what it calls a public health crisis.
But Dr. David Barbe, whose one-year term as AMA president ended Tuesday, called the number of measures in connection with this year on the agenda of the extraordinary and said recent violence, including the Park, Florida, school shooting and the Las Vegas massacre, “spurred a new sense of urgency … while Congress fails to act.”
“It is frustrating that we have seen so little action from either state or federal legislators,” he said. “The most important audience for our message now is our lawgiver, and the second most important of the audience, because sometimes it is required that public pressure on the legislature.”
Although it is no longer seen as the unified voice of American medicine, the AMA has more clout with the politicians and the public than the other physician groups. It had over 243,000 members in 2017, up slightly for the seventh consecutive year. But it is less than a quarter of the nation’s million-plus doctors.
The National Rifle Association not immediately respond to email and phone requests for comment on the doctors voices.
AMA members cited U.S. government data showing that almost 40,000 deaths by gun in 2016, including suicides, and almost 111,000 gun injuries. Both have increased in recent years.
By comparison, in the USA, deaths from diabetes in 2016 a total of nearly $ 80,000; the Alzheimer’s disease, 111,000; and lung diseases, 155,000. The leaders have heart disease, with 634,000 deaths in 2016, and cancer, about 600,000.