After the Newtown school shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead, President Obama said, “These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.’’
Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, agreed, writing a letter to the President urging that the nation take a public health approach to reduce gun violence. “For too long,” Dr. Benjamin wrote, “we as a nation have failed to take on this devastating problem in our communities, and we can wait no longer.”
This is not simply a matter of semantics. Labeling something a public health issue is a game-changer. It brings together researchers and policy-makers across all sectors.