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Asian targeted gun violence

March 23rd, 2021 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Asian targeted gun violence)
Sonya Lewis Mar 21, 2021, 9:07 AM (2 days ago)

Dear Friends and Colleagues, 

Our hearts are heavy following last week’s murders of eight people in Atlanta, six of whom were women of Asian descent. 

Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence is steadfast in our commitment to eliminating the interconnected scourges of racism, misogyny, and gun violence in our nation. As healthcare professionals, we condemn racist rhetoric that finds its lethal expression in cowardly acts of violence, and we dedicate ourselves to ending the cancer of armed hatred. 

Each of us has a role to play in speaking out against the American sickness of gun violence. Rejecting helplessness in the aftermath of trauma, there are steps we can take to further the causes of safety and justice. 

We urge you to contact your U.S. Senators to voice your support for H.R. 8, The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, and H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021. These bills were recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, and if signed into law, would require background checks on firearms purchased from private sellers (H.R. 8), and would extend the time period in which background checks must be completed from three days to ten days (H.R. 1446). 

Similarly, we urge you to contact your U.S. Senators to voice your support for the reinstatement of the Violence Against Women Act, which was recently approved by the House. Provisions in this act will prevent individuals who are convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse or stalking from buying guns. This will also close the “boyfriend loophole” by prohibiting domestic abusers from purchasing guns even if they have never been married to, lived with, or had a child with their victim. 

Additionally, we urge you to maintain a personal and professional practice of active anti-racism. As healers, we must loudly and consistently condemn white supremacy when we see it. Through our interactions with patients, colleagues, legislators, friends, family, and the general public, we have the opportunity and obligation to be agents of transformative justice in our communities. 

As we face the future, we decry senseless bloodshed and we keep the victims and survivors of the Atlanta shootings in our hearts. May we honor their lives and memories with positive action.

The Repetition of Gun Deaths

March 23rd, 2021 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on The Repetition of Gun Deaths)

Sonya Lewis

8:12 AM (2 hours ago)

I posted the following reflection on my personal Facebook page but I thought I’d also share it with you. I’m just so sick and tired of living this way. Last night I dreamt our family moved to New Zealand.

Anyway, please be safe and thanks to all of you for working to be part of the solution.

– Sonya

It often happens that I give presentations about gun violence in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting. In fact, I frequently open my remarks by commenting on the timeliness of my talk. Of course, with over 100 Americans shot to death each day (most not in highly publicized incidents) it’s always timely. Today, in the wake of last week’s Atlanta murders, I had this experience once again. I was grateful to have the opportunity to speak about the physician’s role in the prevention of gun violence to members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute along with my wonderful colleague, Dr. Jim Peggs. I was sorry that our remarks were once again in the aftermath of tragedy.

Today may be the first time that a high profile massacre actually took place *during* my talk. In fact I didn’t learn of the Boulder incident until the presentation was over and I saw the alerts on my phone. It feels disorienting and demoralizing to have taken steps to counteract a crisis while that very crisis was literally in progress. I’m not giving up, of course, but I feel disillusioned, sad, and furious. I grieve for all victims and survivors of these heinous crimes. I grieve for the soul of our nation.

We must do better than this. We do not have to live like animals, hostages to the basest instincts of hate fueled criminals who are armed with obscene, easily obtained weapons and driven by blind rage. Human beings are capable of so much more than constant trauma and senseless carnage. Our American bloodbath is not freedom; it is self inflicted shame. It is the inevitable consequence of a citizenry supersaturated with guns and propelled by grievance. It is the price innocent people pay for unfettered access to cold metal tools of destruction.

We do not have to live in perpetual fear, at the murderous mercy of violent cowards. It is not this way in other countries. It does not have to be this way here either. We must reject helplessness and complacency and we must allow ourselves to feel the raw, sick, searing outrage that gun murder demands.

Gun violence is not normal. Gun violence is not civilized.

I never want to give timely remarks ever again. Ever.

March Notes

March 16th, 2021 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on March Notes)

March news- PPGV is a new 501c3 not-for-profit corporation! More on this soon.
The Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence (PPGV is a member) is calling for signatures to end guns in the Michigan Capitol in Lansing. This is “our lane”. Link to sign is at the bottom of the Michigan Coalition letter. https://michigancoalitiontopreventgunviolence.org/2021/03/04/guns-in-the-news-sobering-reminders-and-protective-action
Now the idea of a national Czar of GVP. Representatives Neguse and McBath have written President Joe Biden asking for the creation of a Gun Violence Prevention Czar. https://www.axios.com/joe-neguse-lucy-mcbath-gun-violence-czar-biden-18dc2c52-823b-458a-a26a-adb28506c279.html
Dr. Gregory Engel and Doctors for America are envisioning a Bureau of Firearm Injury Prevention both at the state and national level. Last year the Washington State Academy of Family Physicians passed a resolution to this affect and sent it to the American Academy of Family Physicians. It was favorably reviewed but not adopted. Plans are to bring it back again this year. If there is movement in various state societies to adopt the concept it will be more likely to succeed.
Some of us plan to present the resolution to the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians at the annual meeting this summer. The hope is that other Michigan societies will also support this. If you belong to say- Internal Medicine, Emergency Med, Psychiatry, OB-Gyn, etc. contact us if you would bring forward a resolution. The resolution used in Washington is available as a model. Now to bring it to Michigan.
Exciting times for PPGV!