A New Ball Game

Time for Docs to “Get our Game Face on” – Gun Violence
I love basketball! As I watched the NCAA finals last Monday night I loved the fierceness of the game and the desire to win and the strong team play. It didn’t really matter who won. It was a dog fight and both teams showed us their mettle. They wanted to win badly. They were a proud bunch. Like doctors can be at our best.
Taking a stand counts. Medical societies are joining together- our team- to try to get in the game that has been dominated by the NRA, gun companies, and many politicians. Nationally 8 medical societies have pledged to work harder to make us safe from guns:

Firearm-Related Injury and Death in the United States: A Call to Action From 8 Health Professional Organizations and the American Bar Association. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162(7):513-516. doi:10.7326/M15-0337

In Ann Arbor the school board recently made a strong statement about the determination to keep guns out of schools and allow kids to concentrate on their studies.
Meanwhile in Michigan some of our societies are pledging more leadership on this issue. It’s critical that they do so, as little by little Michigan is becoming less safe under our present legislature. For instance, they passed a bill that prevents a citizen from using the Freedom of Information Act to see if a neighbor has a gun license. Formerly, a parent could have checked to see if their child was playing in a home with guns. And last month over PPGV opposition, they did away with local gun licensing boards. These boards with a sheriff, prosecutor, and state police representative kept a small number of people from obtaining gun licenses and undoubtedly saved lives.
Now Senator Mike Green, beloved by the NRA and ALEC wants to stop open carry in schools in favor of “specially trained” concealed carry. He is readying a new bill. This doesn’t inspire me with a sense of relief that safety is going to win out, and Green’s dismissal of any expert argument by physicians on the above bills gives one pause. However, the call from our medical societies has gone out: Get in the Game! Get your Game Face On! You are a doctor, and you should have something to say about how society works.

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