by Rohini Kousalya Siva MD MPH MS, AMSA President and Courtnie Moodie MS, Chair of Med Out The Vote
In the aftermath of the appalling gun violence in Lewiston, Maine, which left 18 individuals killed and more than 50 injured, the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) stands united in expressing our heartfelt condolences to the victims, their families, and the resilient community grappling with the ramifications of this tragic event. It is an unfortunate and stark reminder that gun violence remains a persistent threat to the safety and well-being of our society.
The numbers are grim, and they cannot be ignored. Just in this year, more than 35,000 individuals have tragically lost their lives due to gun violence in the US. To put this in perspective, guns are responsible for over 100 deaths per day in the US. This alarming statistic underscores the urgent need for comprehensive gun control reform to safeguard the lives of our citizens and address the deep-rooted issue of gun violence that continues to plague our nation.
At AMSA, we believe that as future physicians, we bear a profound responsibility not only to heal wounds, but also to prevent them. The ongoing gun violence epidemic plaguing our country needs immediate action. We will not and cannot stand by as this public health crisis prevails. Our duty as future physicians extends beyond the clinic and into the realm of advocacy. It is our solemn duty to advocate for stronger gun control laws, to break the cycle of violence, and to protect the vulnerable members of our society.
The call to action is clear and unyielding: Exercise your right to vote and support candidates who are committed to enacting common-sense gun control legislation. We call upon our leaders in Congress to support and pass legislations that include universal background checks, the renewal of the assault weapon ban, the requirement for permits to purchase firearms, and the implementation of red flag laws. These measures, if enacted, can save countless lives. The power of our collective voices can and will influence change.
Our thoughts extend to the victims, to the first responders, healthcare workers, and law enforcement personnel who confront these traumatic situations. Let us honor the memory of those affected by gun violence by advocating for change and working tirelessly to build a safer and more compassionate world. Let’s take action now, register to vote here: https://www.amsa.org/campaign/med-out-the-vote/.