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Mass shooting in Kansas City highlights need for sensible gun laws

Date: Feb 15 2024

Contact: Media Relations

Statement from APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD

The American Public Health Association condemns yesterday’s mass shooting in Kansas City. We are horrified that a day of joy and celebration for families, fans and the team ended in an act of senseless violence. We send our condolences to the victims and their families and our heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery to those currently hospitalized. 

But we know this is not enough. APHA will continue to work to pass a comprehensive and sound public health approach to address this epidemic of gun violence. This approach requires an understanding of the science behind the problem and ongoing prevention research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health will allow us to accurately quantify and describe the root causes of gun violence . At the same time, we know enough to act right now using evidenced based solutions that save lives. APHA calls on Congress to take up legislation to require universal background checks for all firearm purchases in the U.S., prohibit the sale of certain assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines and to pass legislation that allows the removal of firearms from those deemed potentially harmful to themselves or others through the issuance of extreme risk protection orders. 

Opponents of sensible gun laws will say we should not politicize this horrific event. Or the shooting of four high school students outside their school in metropolitan Atlanta yesterday. Or the three police officers shot in Washington, DC yesterday as they tried to serve a warrant for animal cruelty. Or the hundreds of other people around the country impacted by gun violence every day. APHA believes we cannot wait any longer. In fact, we believe we have waited too long to pass the sensible and comprehensive policies outlined above. 


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