AMSA Condemns Gun Violence, Supports Public Health Efforts Moving Forward
Joey Johnson, D.O.
American Medical Student Association
STERLING, Virginia – June 15, 2017 – Early yesterday morning, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), along with a congressional staffer and officers serving in the congressional police force were shot in Alexandria, Virginia, during the Republican team practice for a congressional baseball game. Current reports indicate at least five people were injured, including Rep. Scalise, a high-ranking leader in Congress. Although the situation is still evolving, all wounded individuals are thankfully indicated as stable by media sources at this time. The shooter is reported to have died as a result of injuries from protective shots fired back by police.
This occurred two days after the one-year anniversary of the Pulse massacre in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016, when an active shooter targeted members of the LGBTQ community on the club’s Latinx night. Forty-nine people were murdered and 58 more were wounded in what totals the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Hate crimes and violence motivated by bias and or prejudice toward any person or segment of society are particularly egregious. We urge health professionals, community leaders, and governmental and private agencies to recognize, reduce, and alleviate the effects of these offenses upon victims. We believe the nature of such offenses justify nationwide legislation calling for documentation and increased public awareness. AMSA supports the imposition and enforcement of severe penalties, mandatory sentencing, and civil liability for crimes involving a gun, and supports universal background checks for all new gun purchases as one example of a public safety precaution.
Most importantly, AMSA acknowledges gun violence in the United States as an ongoing public health crisis. Resolution and progress hinges on an evidence-based public health approach to safety alongside criminal justice efforts. AMSA strongly supports violence prevention through education, research, and funding on a national, state, and local level. Our compassion, empathy, support, and well wishes for a swift recovery are with Congressman Scalise and others impacted.
About the American Medical Student Association:
AMSA is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950, AMSA is a student-governed, non-profit organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. To learn more about AMSA, our strategic priorities, or joining the organization, please visit us online at http://www.amsa.org.