This blog was written, for the most part, last week and we held it past its regular Friday publication, as events in Washington continued to unfold. Then this morning, we awoke to the still developing story of America’s largest mass shooting – as of this writing at least 50 dead and hundreds injured. There’s so much we don’t know, and it is difficult to find words to acknowledge the loss, pain and fear another tragedy like this brings. My niece works in at the Mandalay Bay. She is safe. So many others cannot say this about their loved ones. My heart breaks for all who are affected and for all of us trying to make sense of the senseless.
AcademyHealth is a nonpartisan organization. We do not advocate on specific policies or preferred responses to health and health care challenges. We are an evidence-based organization that seeks to improve decision-making through the production and use of that evidence. We advocate for investments in research, data, and scientific freedoms, and our programs seek to bring people with diverse agendas together to share and learn from what evidence exists – to translate what is known, identify what is knowable, and create research agendas for that which is unknown.
I personally believe the evidence that gun violence is a public health problem, that the funding for this research is far too limited, and the official and unofficial federal restraints on research into how to reduce gun violence are an anathema to our mission of improving health and the performance of the health system through the production and use of evidence. If you agree, you can access advocacy toolkits from our colleagues at the American Public Health Association (APHA) here.
As we continue to process the events in Las Vegas, we must also move forward with the daily work of health and health policy here in DC. The text of my original post is available for members here.