The following is a public statement from Thomas Veverka, MD, FACS, president of the Michigan State Medical Society, in response to federal lawmakers announcing a new, bi-partisan legislative package strengthening gun safety and control measures.
“For years, the Michigan State Medical Society has taken an active role in speaking out against gun violence and has made it known that we believe our legislators and decision-makers at both the state and federal level need to fully commit themselves to finding and implementing effective solutions to the increasingly troubling and senseless public health risk gun violence poses.
“With that said, we are encouraged to see that a number of U.S. Senators have answered that call and taken the first step towards reform by introducing a new, bi-partisan legislative package designed to strengthen gun safety measures and curb needless gun violence.
“In the wake of yet another devastatingly deadly school massacre—this time in Uvalde—that came right on the heels of a mass shooting in a Buffalo supermarket, it’s clearer than ever that we need to come together around commonsense reforms that can help to keep our schools and communities safe.
“For too long, it has been apparent that mental issues often play a role in these tragedies, so we are encouraged by the fact that this plan provides authorities with the time and license they need to thoroughly examine the juvenile and mental health records of prospective gun buyers under the age of 21. That, combined with the additional funding to bolster the mental health services being offered in schools should help in ending these heartbreaking catastrophes.”