As lawmakers continue to offer thoughts and prayers with little legislative action to combat mass shooting in the U.S., the nation’s leading organization of medical professionals called for a ban on the sale and ownership of assault-type weapons.
The recommendation is one of several approved by the American Medical Association (AMA) on Tuesday to deal with what it termed the nation’s “public health crisis” of gun violence.
“People are dying of gun violence in our homes, churches, schools, on street corners and at public gatherings, and it’s important that lawmakers, policy leaders and advocates on all sides seek common ground to address this public health crisis,” Dr. David O. Barbe, AMA’s immediate past president, said in a statement. “In emergency rooms across the country, the carnage of gun violence has become a too routine experience... It doesn’t have to be this way, and we urge lawmakers to act.”
The AMA, meeting in Chicago, voted to adopt nearly a dozen new policies focused on gun control.
The policies include taking guns away from those considered at risk of committing violence, expanding domestic violence restraining orders to include dating partners, recognizing the role of firearms in suicides, and opposing President Donald Trump’s recent suggestion that schoolteachers should be armed.
But perhaps their most ambitious new policy is supporting the ban of “all assault-style weapons, bump stocks and related devices, high-capacity magazines, and armor piercing bullets.”
The new measures were passed 446-99.
Barbe told The Associated Press the lack of action on gun control has been “frustrating.”
“It has been frustrating that we have seen so little action from either state or federal legislators,” Barbe said. “The most important audience for our message right now is our legislators, and second most important is the public, because sometimes it requires public pressure on the legislators.”
The worst modern mass shooting in U.S. history occurred last year in Las Vegas, when a gunman using assault-style rifles killed 58 people and resulted in injuries to more than 800 others at a concert venue. Prior to that, a shooting at a gay nightclub in Florida in 2016 that left 49 people dead had been the nation’s deadliest modern mass shooting.
More recently, a school shooting in Parkland, Florida in February left 17 people dead ― primarily children.