Chief Communications Officer
American Medical Student Association
AMSA statement on federal gun violence prevention legislation and medical student education
Sterling, Va., February 14, 2019 — The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) and its Medical Students for Gun Safety campaign wish to acknowledge, honor and bring light to today’s significance as the one-year mark of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This event claimed the lives of 17 innocent victims, including daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, and fathers. From 2018 through present, there have been over 62,000 incidents of gun violence in the United States, which have left over 16,000 people dead and another 31,000 injured, according to nonprofit organization Gun Violence Archive. AMSA stands by the position that these incidents were likely preventable, and that gun violence is an ongoing public health crisis that demands immediate attention from medical students, physicians and health care professionals across the nation.
AMSA urges the enactment of effective federal gun violence prevention legislation. This includes a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, as well as universal background checks for gun purchases and transfers. AMSA opposes any policy that interferes with physicians’ free speech and the ability to educate and counsel patients on gun safety. AMSA strongly urges medical education institutions to incorporate firearm violence prevention into their curricula, and training on how to discuss with patients the risk of firearm ownership and how to mitigate these associated risks. Additionally, AMSA stands on the grounds that, as in all other issues of public health, additional research on the causes and prevention of gun violence is imperative in order to acquire the evidence needed to enact change.
Medical Students for Gun Safety (MSGS) is an AMSA campaign, formed by a group of medical students from across the U.S. who banded together over the last year. MSGS aims to tackle the ever-pressing issue of gun safety as a public health matter that requires palpable solutions and policy changes. MSGS approaches this issue from multiple angles, including improving medical education regarding gun safety, advocating for more violence research, and implementing common sense gun policy reform. MSGS works to create distributable educational materials, inform medical students, and guide gun safety legislation through this year’s Advocacy Day and AMSA’s Annual Convention and Exposition in March 2019.
Since February 14, 2018, hundreds of thousands of people have rallied to end firearm-related violence, and AMSA’s MSGS campaign proudly supports this movement. Moving forward in the wake of one of the most horrific mass shootings at a high school in the U.S., gun safety reform must be a fundamental aspect of ensuring the safety of our communities and loved ones. AMSA will continue to work tirelessly to end gun violence. Our work has only just begun.
TAKE ACTION WITH AMSA
There are two ways today to get involved as medical students. Together, we have a powerful opportunity to reshape the future. We’re the next generation of physicians—and we demand change in the name of saving lives.
Join us on March 7 during our Advocacy Day—we’re taking on the Capitol. Led by AMSA experts, we will show you the advocacy ropes; we offer training, guidance and inspiration. Then, we take it to the Hill, and you will meet with your legislators to help advocate for meaningful public health based solutions to end the epidemic of gun violence in our nation.
Tell congress enough is enough! Urge them to pass common sense gun laws now.
- Call Your US Senators & House Rep (202) 224-3121
- Find Your Rep & Senators at CongressLookUp.com
Call, Tweet, Email Your Rep & Senators via TweetCongress.org
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 physicians-in-training, advocating for quality and affordable health care for all, and building the next generation of physician leaders. To join our community, visit amsa.org.