gun violence

Photo by WorldSpectrum/Pixabay https://pixabay.com/photos/weapons-guns-ammunition-pistol-3417508/

The recent spate of mass shootings, capped by the weekend tragedies in El Paso and Dayton, are bringing  new attention to so-called "red flag" laws.

Earlier this year, police dispatchers in Evansville, Indiana, received a chilling call. A man said he was holding his wife at knifepoint, and he warned police that he was heavily armed.

Christine Herman/Illinois Public Media

Losing a loved one to gun violence can cause anxiety, stress and other mental health symptoms. So can simply living in an environment where violence is common.

But experts say early intervention and support can help prevent some of those negative, long-term consequences.


Lauren Bavis/Side Effects Public Media

In 2018, Side Effects covered community struggles with public health crises, barriers to treatment and clever workarounds to get vulnerable people the care they need. 

'Any guns or weapons?': Pediatricians think checkups should include gun safety

Dec 26, 2018
SARAH FENTEM | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

As a pediatric surgeon at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Dr. Bo Kennedy has seen firsthand how bullets can shatter tiny bodies.

He’s collected dozens of horror stories from his time in the hospital’s emergency department, including the time a 3-year-old boy stuck a loaded gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

“That’s what he did with his water pistol to get a drink out of it,” Kennedy said. “And obviously he didn’t survive.”

Jake Harper/Side Effects Public Media

Physicians across the country have a message for the National Rifle Association: Gun violence is our concern. It's part of a battle being fought vigorously on Twitter in recent weeks.

A disability rights group in Texas sent out a survey last month, trying to figure out how many of its members became disabled by gun violence. The group, ADAPT of Texas, says it's an effort to collect data that will help inform Texas lawmakers about how they should legislate guns.

Bob Kafka, an organizer with ADAPT, says when gun violence occurs, particularly mass shootings, the public tends to have a pretty limited discussion about what happens to the victims.

Government health agencies have spent more than two decades shying away from gun violence research, but some say the new spending bill, signed by President Trump on Friday, will change that.

That is because, in agency instructions that accompany the bill, there is a sentence noting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the authority to conduct research on the causes of gun violence.

When U.S. officials feared an outbreak of the Zika virus last year, the Department of Health and Human Services and state officials kicked into high gear.

They tested mosquitoes neighborhood by neighborhood in Miami and other hot Gulf Coast communities where the virus was likely to flourish. They launched outreach campaigns to encourage people to use bug spray. And they pushed the development of a vaccine.

Wikimedia Commons

Homicides, mainly gun deaths, are the biggest contributor to premature death among black Americans.  Yet despite this harsh statistic, there’s very little research on the issue, according to a new study from Indiana University’s School of Public Health in Bloomington.

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