Stating that physicians “are long overdue” to direct their expertise toward the public-health danger of gun violence, an editorial in the American College of Physicians' journal Annals of Internal Medicine (PDF) called on doctors to commit the same energy toward guns as they have to issues such as smoking, bicycle helmets, seatbelts and vaccinations.
“The relative silence of the health profession on matters related to gun violence is disturbing,” the editorial stated, adding that the Dec. 14 “shooting rampage” that left 28 people dead (including the gunman and his mother) “should motivate physicians to be vocal participants in discussions about U.S. gun policy.”
The editorial cited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics that firearms were used in 11,493 homicides and 18,735 suicides in 2009, and argued that there is evidence documenting the extent of the problem and that it's "the same type of evidence that drives clinical decisions."
It later noted how political factors have ended funding for the CDC's gun-violence research and how “thoughtful people” have declined to write about gun control over concerns it would lead to them losing public funding for their own research programs which were not directly gun related. “This situation raises the ominous possibility that our second amendment rights may be jeopardizing our first amendment rights,” the editorial stated.