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Newest APHA Press book offers a public health approach to the gun violence epidemic

Date: Apr 15 2021

Contact: Media Relations 

Gun Violence Prevention: A Public Health Approach” recognizes the longstanding role of firearms in American culture and focuses on how to make society safer, not how to eliminate guns. 

The APHA Press book’s approach to ending the epidemic of gun-related tragedies takes into account the factors contributing to the many forms of gun violence, developing thoughtful strategies from a public health perspective, along with lessons learned from case studies and other areas of injury prevention.

“The solutions require collaboration and coordination involving many sectors, including government, the public and private sectors, and the general public,” said Linda Degutis, DrPH, MSN, one of the book’s two lead editors and an expert in injury and violence prevention policy. “Creating pressure for change as well as shifting public opinion and understanding of the truths and myths around firearms will need a concerted effort.”
The book is geared toward public health practitioners, advocates, students and policymakers but will likely appeal to a wider audience, according to the co-editors. 

“Science is the foundation of this approach, as it is with other effective public health initiatives,” said Howard Spivak, MD, the book’s other lead editor. “But, the science cannot ignore our culture and history with respect to firearm ownership, and the reasons for responsible gun ownership and use.”

Fostering productive and inclusive dialogue that respects the rights of responsible gun owners is one of the editors’ key goals. They also underscore the ways a public health approach not only involves multiple players, but relies on strategies around policy, programs, technology, research and education.

“Using a public health approach was effective in decreasing deaths and injuries from motor vehicle crashes — we didn’t take cars off the road, but figured out how to keep people safer given that there are cars in our environment,” Degutis said. “This required a multi-faceted, science-based public health model.”

For review copies, please contact APHA Press.


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