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Letter to Ann Arbor News

March 17th, 2014 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

The story in the March 2 edition of The News is frightening for a variety of reasons. First of all, the evidence is clear, the more guns in a community-the more deaths due to firearms—and not just homicides. Suicides and accidental deaths (typically involving children) are more frequent as well. Secondly, the fact that a significant number of people feel that they need to have guns for protection reflects a troubling level of insecurity and fear in our neighborhoods and indicates an alarming readiness to use lethal force in response to attempted burglary (typically by unarmed teenagers.) Finally, the combination of fear, racial stereotyping, Michigan’s “stand your ground” law and concealed carrying of handguns is an invitation to tragedies on our streets such as have occurred in Florida in the past 2 years. Our social problems should be attacked at their roots. More guns are not the answer—they are simply another serious problem to be addressed.

 

Andrew Zweifler M.D.

 

Member, Physicians for Prevention of Gun Violence

Team 26 Rides and National Gun Violence Sabbath

March 10th, 2014 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Team 26 is making their 2nd annual ride from Newtown to Washington to rally for gun legislation and stopped in Harlem for a rally with local activists. Nina Agrawal of Doctors for America wrote the following piece.

And locally in Washtenaw Co. we are just a few days from the Gun Violence Sabbath weekenda. This national event brings together all faiths and PPGV is proud to participate .
From Nina Agrawal of Doctors for America about Team 26 and Harlem
No justice, no peace – Ride on, Team 26!!!! 

Yesterday, I had the amazing opportunity to welcome Team 26 to Harlem on their way to Washington from Newtown.  It was such an inspiring day, it brought tears to my eyes, seeing them in their green jerseys in honor of the 20 kids and 6 teachers who died.
Hats off to Dr. Greg Dworkin, a pediatrician, with the United Physicians of Newtown – a group of docs formed in response to the tragedy – who connected Harlem with Monte Frank of Newtown. It was because of our connection that Team 26 stopped in Harlem.  It was a combined event of  OFA, Moms Demand Action, and many other community partners.
It started with a group of local riders lead by Dads Demand Action and 20 local kids from Harlem and the Bronx – called the Rough Riders.  With police escort, we were lead from the Bronx into Harlem.  I connected with a local kid, Robert, from the Bronx whose mother is bedridden from a gun shot injury when he was a kid.  He dropped out of school in the 7th grade but can fix any apple gadget.  He makes his money fixing bikes at a local bike store.
The highlight of the welcome ceremony was the kids – from the Junior Newtown Action Alliance joining up with a rap song with kids from Harlem – calling for peace.  One of the best quotes was the Newtown teen who said that gun violence doesn’t discriminate based on zip code.
I gave a brief speech promoting the ASK program – advising parents to ask about guns in the homes where their child plays.  It was a drop in the bucket next to all the inspiring speakers who have experienced gun violence first hand – mothers who have lost kids,  former gang members who counsel peers,  the list goes on.
The mantra of the day was “no justice, no peace” chanted over and over again.
Bottom line –  There is hope.  We need to keep fighting just as these cyclists keep riding to raise awareness of the need for federal legislation.
Link to NY Daily News – check out the kids and Team 26 riding together: priceless

http://nydn.us/1liygjB

Here’s a link to the pics from the Harlem welcome event – check out Team 26 raising their hands in sync with the rap song – so cool:
Nina

Feb. 28. 2014.

We were just copied on Macomb County’s resolution to the State of Michiga naming June “Gun Violence Awareness Month”.(GVAM). Our group, PPGV, was a resource for part of the resolution. This resolution mirrors the one from Nwe York State which earlier declared June GVAM.  And last spring Washtenaw Co.named June as our Gun Violence.Awarenes Month. The Macomb Resolution is an excellent one with great supporting arguments for reducing violence from guns. Here is the link to view the resolution. http://ppgv.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/R14-027-June-Gun-final-signed.pdf. Every step towards better public health is a good step.  

Jerry

A New Facebook Page for PPGV – Check it Out!

February 26th, 2014 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

PPGV has a Facebook page! It gives us another way to communicate. If you are on Facebook you can LIKE US by going to http://www.facebook.com/physiciansforthepreventionofgunviolence.
And for those who “like us” on Facebook take 20 % off your dues– pay $40 for this years dues. Pay for this year on our Donate page. Thanks!

National Gun Violence Sabbath Mar 13-16. We have been asked to join with Faiths United in this service. Would you ask your religious leader to offer a prayer or otherwise mark this weekend? A few congregations have signed on already. This could be a great expression of our hope for a better Michigan.  See the Faiths United  suggestions at (http://marchsabbath.org) to get you started and make our Physician Voice heard.
Jerry

Stateside with Cynthia Canty

January 26th, 2014 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Andy and I talked to Cynthia Canty of Michigan Radio WUOM,etc. recently about gun violence.  Steve Thiry, Head of FM at St. Joe’s Ann Arbor,  helped set this up- thanks, Steve!

Here’s the link  michiganradio.org

The MIchigan Academy of Family Medicine heard it and wants an article in their quarterly. Anyone want to help with that, especially FMs? And anyone know the MAFP politics well to help build this alliance- know Dr. Fred Van Alstine or Dr.Tina Tanner? The AAP has targeted gun violence this year and we should push other medical academies to join in!

We have had a few new docs join that may bring some out-state invitations to grow us beyond Washtenaw Co. That is another goal. Let us know if you have a connection to a group of physicians wanting to talk about gun violence.

Three Year Anniversary

January 10th, 2014 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Dear Docs,
Andy and I got our start with PPGV 3 years ago after Tucson and Gabby Giffords shooting. We had tried after Virginia Tech and when the mayor rebuffed us we stopped. 32 deaths there got our attention and then Gabby made us more determined. 
Gabby has a great editorial in the New York Times about her determination to make our country safer. Please read it and watch the video of her sky dive. 
My personal story is that I am 2 years from Ampullary or Pancreatic Cancer and look like a cure. I have to find a way to return my thanks. This physician organization and its purpose is it. I have lost a beautiful teenager to death and another almost teen to live in prison, now 30 years, due to gun violence.
And you?  I hope you will join us and  work even harder in 2014 for the prevention of gun violence. See our website, ppgv.org to become more active.
Jerry and Andy for PPGV

Three new happenings for 2014

January 5th, 2014 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Hi Doctors,
3 new happenings for the New Year 2014:
1. Steve Thiry, Head of Family Medicine at St. Joe helped us get a spot on Cynthia Canty’s “Stateside”  Michigan Radio program. Andy Zweifler and I will record a short 6-8 minute interview early next week. Let us know if there is anything you think is pressing to report on guns and docs working for the public’s health. This is a great opportunity to be better known in Michigan!
2. Kelly Orringer, pediatrician at UM, helped set up  a speaking engagement with the UM Pediatric Dept. on Jan.21. This Departmental Meeting can enable stronger support from UM pediatricians. The  American Association of Pediatrics has committed nationally to  reduce gun violence in 2014 thereby becoming the leader for national physician organizations. Go pediatricians!
3. Cheryl Farmer, internist and former mayor of Ypsilati and member of the Washtenaw County Medical Society Exec. Committee, has retired and will join our Exec. Committee at PPGV. Welcome Cheryl!

Great News for PPGV to begin our new year! See the Action Page of ppgv.org to become more active with us.
Best,
Jerry

Moms Demand Action on Gun Sense Campaign

December 14th, 2013 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Moms Demand Action on Gun Sense in America momsdemandaction.org is a national, grass-roots group with local chapters in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Lansing, Michigan. 

Saturday, December 14, marks one year since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Moms Demand Action will commemorate the anniversary with No More Silence, a campaign to honor the victims and show our resolve never to be silent again about gun violence. The campaign will include a week of action culminating on December 14, with events in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Lansing. Each event will include a communal ringing of bells—a moment of No More Silence—to remember the victims and to show that the time for silence is over.

In solidarity with Moms Demand Action and the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice ICPJ, the Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence invites its members and friends to convene on December 14th at 11:45 pm in front of the Federal Building (Post Office) on Liberty Street between 4th and 5th Avenues to mark the anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Mayor of Ann Arbor and others will speak, and at 12:45 pm we will remember the victims of gun violence through word and song and a communal ringing of bells.

From Kate Gold on the science of violence at IOM meeting

November 11th, 2013 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

While we are still tuning up our blog (I feel President Obama’s pain with the healthcare roll out) this came from Dr. Kate Gold. We always love good news in the gun violence struggle.                -Jerry

She wrote:

The Institute of Medicine held their annual meeting in Washington DC on October 21, 2013.  Each year, the meeting is convened around a certain theme: in 2011 the focus was on vaccines and in 2012 on health professions education. This year, the meeting was entitled: “The Science of Violence: Causation, Mitigation, and Prevention.”  We heard from more than a dozen researchers who talked about the history of lobbyist opposition to public health research (going so far as to shut down our early sections of the CDC focused on gun violence), mental health and violence, violence prevention programs that work, the impact of recurrent exposure to violence, and different types of violence including a large focus on gun violence.  There was also some interesting discussion about the “contagious” nature of violence and how in some ways it should be viewed more like an infectious disease.  During the Q/A period, one IOM member reported she mentored a young physician-research who had been told that focusing a career on gun violence would be career-suicide, and another member countered that when he found himself on the NRA target list of violence researchers, he immediately put that honor on his CV! All in all, it was a fascinating day and encouraging to see so many diverse members of the IOM being exposed to the issues of violence research and see so much energy around such a critical public health issue.

A link to the day’s agenda is below and the site also has videos of all the talks:
http://www.iom.edu/Activities/PublicHealth/AnnualMeeting/2013-OCT-21/2013IOMAMAgenda.aspx

Katherine Gold  MD MSW MS
Department of Family Medicine
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
University of Michigan

Docs-
The last few days have been important ones for the public health approach
to gun violence.

We lost a young African-American woman to a Stand Your Ground type response
in Michigan. Yet another loss that was based on what Bill Alt of Interfaith
Council for Peace and others are calling the “culture of fear”. We have
to explore this fear and lable the need for guns as a co-morbidity – that of
*cowardice*. It is cowardly to use extreme force- that of a weapon of
destruction to an unarmed woman in search of help on your porch.
We have to become more hospitable and more open as a society. As physician
leaders our work is cut out for us. Together we can! We can start by the
“diagnosis of the problems as fear and cowardice.

On another front Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly see a victory for our
interest in big Virginia victories vs. the gun lobby. See below.

Jerry –

From Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly
Nov 6 (2 days ago)
Last night, Virginians elected a pair of statewide candidates at the top of
the ticket who campaigned on common sense solutions to reduce gun violence,
and the results sent a powerful message to the rest of the country:

*Candidates who campaign on reducing gun violence — even in purple states
— win elections.*

Governor-Elect Terry McAuliffe: “I’m a gun owner and I’m a hunter. But I
support universal background checks. My opponent and I differ on that.”

Lt. Governor-Elect Ralph Northam partnered with Virginia Tech families to
support universal background checks.

And a third candidate who stands with us, State Senator Mark Herring for
Attorney General, came from behind with our support and is heading into an
apparent recount.

Because of supporters like you, we were involved in each one of these
important races, matching the NRA’s investment dollar-for-dollar.

*The more people learn about our big wins in Virginia, the greater the
impact. So please join us in spreading the word about last night’s
victories on social media or by forwarding this email to your friends. It’s
important.*

Like & Share on
Facebook
| Spread the Word on
Twitter

This is why we started Americans for Responsible Solutions after the
tragedy at Sandy Hook — to stand as a counterweight to the gun lobby in
Washington, D.C. and all 50 states. And without your continued support of
our efforts, victories like the ones we experienced last night wouldn’t be
possible.

Thank you for standing with us as we continue this fight.
All the best,

Gabby Giffords & Mark Kelly
Americans for Responsible Solutions BB