Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue
For the week of July 3, 2016
Guests: Dr. Steven Miles, Professor of Medicine and Bioethics and the Maas Family Endowed Chair in Bioethics at the University of Minnesota Medical School
To reduce death and injury from car accidents, cars now include seatbelts, collapsible steering wheels and airbags. “These are public health interventions to public health problems,” says Dr. Miles, and, he believes, a similar public health approach should be applied to gun violence.
- Part 1 – 12:45
Of the approximately 35,000 deaths from guns each year in the United States, 2/3 are suicide and the risk of suicide is dramatically increased in households with guns. “Were we to have a fair discussion of suicide as part of the total public health picture of gun deaths,” Dr. Miles says, “then we could see our way more clearly—I believe—to understanding the role of the prevalence and easy-access to guns as part of the overall picture of gun death and injury in our society.”
- Part 2 – 13:49
The NRA has successfully lobbied congress to stop much of the research on gun violence in the US. Without research from the Center for Disease Control, the National Institutes for Health or the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the gun control debate is framed by myths and spin, says Dr. Miles. “Society’s interests are never served by trying to make wise policy in the context of ignorance.”