How Physicians Can Respond to Gun Violence

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How Physicians Can Respond to Gun Violence

Tracy Sanson, MD, FACEP

Physicians are no strangers to the front lines of social change. We were among the ranks of those spearheading automobile safety, injury prevention, the fight against HIV, and in how our nation views and consumes cigarettes and alcohol.

In the wake of the Valentine’s Day school shooting in Florida, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are turning their grief and outrage into activism.

I am with the children.

As advocates for public health, what can we do to make sure their voices are heard? What steps can we take so children no longer wonder why adults fail to protect them at state and governmental levels?

Here are a few ways to start:

As a physician, demand that Congress allow the CDC to research gun violence as a public health program. Call your representatives. Make your voice heard. Call (202) 224-3121 to speak to the U.S. House switchboard operator and to be connected to your representatives.

Make gun reform a priority when you vote in the 2018 midterm elections.  

Vote out lawmakers who refuse to positively act in the face of mass shootings.

Be vocal. Use your social media presence to amplify your knowledge and experiences as a physician about gun violence. Write an op-ed for your local newspaper about why, as a physician, you are passionate about gun reform.

Know which organizations fund your lawmakers campaigns. (In October 2017, the New York Times published a useful list of the members of Congress who receive the most funding from the NRA.)

Consider running for office. Be the change. is a great resource for anyone considering this path.

How are you standing beside of the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School? Let me know by tweeting @TracySansonMD with the hashtag #neveragain.

Tracy Sanson