Gun Violence Is A Public Health Crisis -- But It Can Be Fixed

Experts at Harvard discuss strategies and solutions that can save lives.

Over 36,000 people are killed by guns each year in the U.S. ― an average of 100 people per day. That’s on top of the 100,000 people injured by firearms, many of whom suffer life-long debilitating injuries. And the problem is getting worse: gun violence crested in 2017 to their highest level in 40 years. This daily grind of violence is often punctuated by horrific mass shootings ― there have been several in December already.

This is a political problem, as the federal government and many (though not all) states refuse to take meaningful action to reduce the bloodshed. It’s also a market problem, as giant firearm manufacturers reap enormous profits by selling instruments of harm to the public. But it’s also a fundamental public health problem: preventable deaths are occurring in communities across the country and meaningfully affecting national mortality rates. 

Doctors, policymakers and activists are working diligently to find solutions and implement them in a way that can save lives. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, partnering with HuffPost, held a panel discussion on Wednesday called Curbing Gun Violence: Strategies for Change. HuffPost Deputy Enterprise Editor George Zornick moderated the forum, which featured:

  • David Hemenway, Professor of Health Policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School

  • Chana Sacks, Internist at Mass General and Co-Director of the MGH Center for Gun Violence Prevention 

  • Ted Strickland, the 68th governor of Ohio

  • Mike McLively, Senior Staff Attorney and Community Violence Initiative Director at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Watch the full panel discussion above.