Thursday, July 18, 2024
28 C
Brunei Town

US surgeon general declares gun violence a ‘public health crisis’

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States (US) surgeon general yesterday issued a landmark advisory declaring gun violence a “public health crisis” and calling for wide-ranging firearm controls that have historically met stiff political opposition.

The advisory by Vivek Murthy, who was nominated by US President Joe Biden, is the first such major report on gun violence from a surgeon general, whose office has limited authority but plays a significant role in public health issues.

A similar report on tobacco in the 1960s is viewed as a key first step to altering the perception of the substance’s danger, ultimately leading to new regulations and a steep decline in consumption.

“Firearm violence is an urgent public health crisis that has led to loss of life, unimaginable pain, and profound grief for far too many Americans,” Murthy said in a statement announcing the advisory.

“We don’t have to continue down this path, and we don’t have to subject our children to the ongoing horror of firearm violence in America. All Americans deserve to live their lives free from firearm violence, as well as from the fear and devastation that it brings.”

The report cites government and other data that shows the US is an extreme outlier on deaths and injuries from guns, especially for children.

Firearms in recent years have become the leading cause of deaths for Americans aged one to 19, above motor vehicles, the report said.

In 2022, 48,204 people died as a result of firearms, including suicides.