Are mass shootings a public health crisis?

Jun 11, 2014, 5:24 PM

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Is mass violence a communicable disease?

Some experts are saying yes.

Epidemiologist Gary Slutkin, founder and executive director of Cure Violence, has found that “violent behavior often exhibits characteristics of an epidemic disease in the way it clusters and spreads,” according to CBS News.

The American College of Physicians and the American Medical Association’s Internal Medicine journal also call on federal health agencies and healthcare providers to “become more active in counseling patients about firearm safety.”

That being said, a study conducted by the American College of Physicians revealed that 58 percent of healthcare providers do not ask their patients about guns.

Some state lawmakers have tried to make such questions illegal, while “others worry that this may put physicians in a position of becoming social workers, which is not something there is time for in a busy emergency room or doctor’s office.”

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Are mass shootings a public health crisis?