As doctors, we have witnessed first hand the trauma that gun violence inflicts on communities and families across our state. The pervasiveness of weapons designed to kill multiple people quickly is a threat to everyone, regardless of where you live. And now, we have the ability to dramatically reduce the number of these senseless and brutal gun related deaths here in Illinois.
All the state legislature needs to do is pass the Protect Illinois Communities Act:
- Ban assault weapons.
- Ban large capacity magazines.
- Require assault weapons be certified.
- Strengthen red flag laws.
- Provide ISP (the Illinois State Police) tools to better combat the influx of illegal guns across state lines into Illinois.
Assault weapons are too lethal to serve any purpose in our society other than to kill. High capacity magazines infinitely increase the deadliness not just of assault weapons, but of handguns too. With weapons of war too easily at their disposal, mass shooters are able to inflict unimaginable carnage in seconds. We need stronger laws to make sure that guns do not fall into the wrong hands, because when they do, the results are deadly.
We refuse to be complacent in a country where guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens. No one deserves to live in constant fear that every school, church, grocery store, park, parade, or even hospital could become the scene of the next massacre.
We do not have to live like this.
Gun violence is a public health crisis, and like any other disease, it requires immediate treatment. We cannot wait to pass this legislation while people continue to die from preventable violence everyday. Do not water down this bill in fear of the NRA (National Rifle Association). Pass the Protect Illinois Communities Act, now.
Selwyn Rogers, Jr. MD MPH FACS; Timothy Plackett, DO, MPH; Priya Prakash, MD; Andrew Benjamin, MD; David Hampton, MD; Rewa Hasanat, MD; Alejandra Lastra, MD; Veronica Cipriani, MD; Cuoghi Edens, MD; Karen Fauman, MD; Maryam Siddiqui, MD; Eva Reina, MD; Nina Mbadiwe, MD; Lindsay Schwartz, MD; Rekha Vij, MD; Alisa McQueen, MD; Kim Stanford, MD, MPH; Margaret Kay-Stacey, MD; Rita Rossi Foulkes, MD; Hena Arora, MD; William F Parker, MD; Vineet Arora, MD, MAPP; Ansul Asad, MD; Marion Henry, MD; Steven A. Gould, MD; Neda Laiteerapong, MD
Manufacture a threat for political purposes??? Are you kidding? Is there really disagreement about whether assault weapons and large capacity magazines, which this bill seeks to address, represent threats to the health of our communities here in Chicago and more broadly in the U.S.??? I salute and thank the doctors for speaking up on this critical issue in public health.
Doctors have zero expertise in causes of violent crime or how to remedy it. This is pure politics and ideology, without concern for actual solutions.
Advocating for addressing the violent criminal would seem to be the solution, rather than the inanimate object and the law-abiding.
Perhaps the doctor would be better off responding to ACTUAL health crises, than to manufacture them for political purposes. What training does he have in changing the behavior of violent criminals and gang members?
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