Every day, 100 Americans are killed with guns and hundreds more are shot and injured. Michigan ranks among the top 10 states for gun violence, with a firearm death rate of 12.3 percent. The Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) has taken an active role in speaking out against gun violence and making it known, we want to help solve these problems in both our state and nation.
During the past several years, MSMS has adopted several policy positions aimed at curbing gun violence. Our physician members work hard every day in their practices and communities to identify mental health issues and other concerns that could lead to tragedy.
MSMS in partnership with the Henry Ford Medical Group recently sent a letter to Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters in support of federal bill H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, calling on them to consider us an ally on this issue going forward. Introduced by Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Peter King (R-NY), this important piece of legislation would close an existing loophole that has allowed sales of firearms at gun shows, over the internet and person-to-person to occur without an accompanying background check. This measure passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is under consideration in the U.S. Senate.
In March of 2018, MSMS President, Betty S. Chu, MD, MBA wrote an op-ed column that was featured in the Detroit News. In it she states, “I write on behalf of Michigan physicians everywhere when I ask when and how we can -- as a society -- begin working together to solve our problems related to gun violence in our state and nation.” She also cites a report from the Centers for Disease Control reporting more than 33,000 people losing their lives each year. In her closing remarks she asks, “it is way past time to move forward in fixing the elements that lead to gun violence. The dialogue won't be easy, but it's absolutely necessary.”
MSMS will continue to have the tough conversations surrounding gun violence. We will advocate to curb gun violence and support laws that do so.
If you have questions regarding MSMS policy on gun violence or want to get involved in our advocacy efforts, please contact, Christin Nohner, MSMS Director of Federal and State Government Relations.
Letter to Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters re: H.R.8 Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019
Betty S. Chu, MD, MBA op-ed column: Act Now to End Gun Violence