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Gun violence, public health crisis in the US

Washington, June 25 (Prensa Latina) The surgeon general of the United States, Dr. Vivek Murthy, declared today in a historic announcement that gun violence is a public health crisis in the nation.

Murthy warned that gun violence represents a “serious threat to the health and well-being of our country,” which not only takes a serious physical toll, but also a mental one.

It is the first time that the government’s main public health agency focuses on weapons, according to local media.

“As a physician, I have seen up close the consequences of gun violence in the lives of the patients I have cared for over the years,” he said.

“These are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, all of whom had their physical and mental health stolen through acts of senseless violence,” Murthy said in a video published this Tuesday on his account on the social network X.

He argued that in 2022, a total of 48,204 people died from firearm-related injuries, including suicides, homicides and unintentional deaths.

Of the deaths related to these lethal means that year, more than half (56.1 percent) were due to suicides and around 40 were due to homicide, according to the report.

“Unfortunately, the problem has continued to grow,” Murthy added, citing a statistic that 54 percent of adults in the United States say they or a family member have experienced a firearm-related incident.

“Many of these harms are felt disproportionately in our communities,” Murthy lamented.

Black people suffer the highest rates of gun homicides, while suicide rates are highest among veterans, older white people and younger American Indians and Alaska natives, he stressed.

Perhaps most jarring of all is the effect of gun violence on children: As of 2020, it has been the number one cause of death among children and teens, surpassing car accidents, drug overdoses or cancer, he added.

He confessed that as a father he knows that “the worst nightmare would be to lose a child, to feel like you can’t protect them from any harm.”

The National Rifle Association, an organization that defends the right of citizens of this country to bear arms, opposed this statement.

This is “an extension of the (Joe) Biden Administration’s war on law-abiding gun owners,” Randy Kozuch, executive director of the group’s Legislative Action Institute, its lobbying arm, said in a statement. on the Internet platform itself.

In Kozuch’s opinion, “the United States has a crime problem caused by criminals” and the reluctance to prosecute and punish criminals “on the part of President Biden and many of his allies is the main cause of this. It is a simple fact.”