In My View  |   February 2018
Model to Reduce Unintentional Firearms Injury and Death: Safety Through Education
Author Notes
  • Past president of the New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons. 
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: None reported. 
  • Disclaimer: This essay represents the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of the New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Elliot L. Ames, DO, PO Box 4474, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034-4474. Email: elliotames@yahoo.com
     
Article Information
Preventive Medicine / Psychiatry
In My View   |   February 2018
Model to Reduce Unintentional Firearms Injury and Death: Safety Through Education
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, February 2018, Vol. 118, 64-66. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2018.019
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, February 2018, Vol. 118, 64-66. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2018.019
It seems like hardly a day goes by that a shooting is not reported in the media. After each shooting, the rhetoric is predictable and partisan.1 Democrats favor stricter gun control laws, whereas Republicans favor expansion of gun rights.1,2 Many physicians consider firearm violence to be a public health issue, yet federal funding to study this issue is lacking.3 The rhetoric soon dissipates, and nothing changes. 
Firearm ownership in the United States continues to increase, with most gun owners reporting gun ownership for personal protection.2 As of 2009, there were an estimated “310 million firearms available to civilians in the United States.”4 At that time, the number of firearm suicides and unintentional deaths was 18,735 and 554, respectively.4 Regardless of one's ideology regarding firearm ownership, all parties should agree that reducing unintentional death and injury from firearms is necessary. How to achieve that goal, however, remains elusive. (Although prevention of intentional and mass shootings certainly deserves attention, that topic is outside the scope of this essay.) 
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