Last Wednesday, the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security held a well-attended hearing on 68 gun-related bills. Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun laws in the U.S., but the numerous bills submitted for review cover such items as expanded training for gun purchasers, establishing a firearm violence institute within DPH, and making firearm owners civilly liable for damage caused by lost or stolen firearms.
While much attention is correctly focused on direct victims of gun violence and their families, the healthcare community is concerned about how firearm violence affects caregivers who treat victims in hospital EDs. That is, even steely-nerved physicians and nurses are often traumatized by the senseless, gun-related tragedies they encounter. MHA and its Board of Trustees continue to view the epidemic of gun violence in the United States as a public health issue. MHA commended the legislature and governor for addressing firearm issues, and supports increased research into the causes of, and possible ways to stem, gun violence.