Darren B. Taichman, MD, PhD; Howard Bauchner, MD; Jeffrey M. Drazen, MD; Christine Laine, MD, MPH; Larry Peiperl, MD
Note: This article is being published in Annals of Internal Medicine, JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), New England Journal of Medicine, and PLOS Medicine.
Disclosures: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M17-2657.
Corresponding Author: Darren B. Taichman, MD, PhD, American College of Physicians, 190 N. Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106; e-mail, email@example.com.
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Sheila Leavitt MD
October 10, 2017
Physicians should use their economic clout to push states toward sane gun laws
Regarding the health toll of gun violence, physician advocacy and patient education are of course the responsibility of clinicians.
However, given the intransigence of the US Congress in passing needed gun safety legislation, I believe doctors should also use our considerable economic clout to reward states with sane gun laws (states with a Brady score better than B-, for example), and to withhold our personal and professional dollars (via conference location, investments, etc.) from rogue states with bad laws, laws that endanger their citizens and the country as a whole.
Activists in the LGBT community
built a very successful coalition of business groups and of sports entities like the NFL and the NBA; together they convinced governors in AZ and GA not to sign anti-gay legislation. This, obviously, was a financial rather than a moral persuasion. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/the-fix/wp/2016/03/28/how-lgbt-activists-beat-back-unfriendly-laws-emphasize-economics-not-just-equality/
Now, in the wake of the atrocity in Las Vegas, it is time for us as doctors to try different tactics in confronting the gun lobby. As individual physicians, as physician organizations, and as citizens it is time to push states with lax gun laws to do the right thing. We must make a concerted attempt to block the easy availability of guns. This affects us all, whether we live in Boston, Massachusetts or Chicago, Illinois, places where good gun laws are undermined by guns from out of state; or in states whose lax laws make them sources for guns, like Maine or Kentucky.
We should urge our specialty organizations, our research conferences, and other physician groups of which we are a part, to hold meetings in states with strong gun laws. Furthermore, we should INFORM states with bad laws why we are not holding that meeting in Phoenix; in Orlando; in Las Vegas.
Money talks. Sadly, it seems, it speaks more loudly than any compilation of facts, statistics, or moral arguments.
Taichman DB, Bauchner H, Drazen JM, Laine C, Peiperl L. Firearm-Related Injury and Death: A U.S. Health Care Crisis in Need of Health Care Professionals. Ann Intern Med. [Epub ahead of print 10 October 2017]:. doi: 10.7326/M17-2657
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2017.
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