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The United States is distinct among high-income countries for its problem with gun violence, with Americans 25 times more likely to be killed by gun homicide than people in other high-income countries.1 Suicides make up a majority of annual gun deaths — though that gap is closing as homicides are on the rise — and the U.S. accounts for 35% of global firearm suicides despite making up only 4% of the world’s population.2 More concerning, gun deaths are only getting worse. In 2021, firearm fatalities approached 50,000, the highest we have seen in at least 40 years.3 The increase in homicides in conjunction with lower crime overall further suggests an problem specifically with guns.4 As devastating as these deaths are, it does not come close to encompassing the mass toll of America’s gun violence epidemic — a toll that disproportionately impacts people of color, with the Black community suffering at the highest rates. A broader and more accurate view of what constitutes gun violence must become a part of the national discourse if we are going to develop effective strategies to combat this crisis.5
Motivated by disparities in gun violence, sharp increases in gun ownership, and a changing gun policy landscape, we conducted a nationally representative survey of U.S. adults (n=2,778) in 2021 to compare safety-related views of white, Black, and Hispanic gun owners and non-owners. Black gun owners were most aware of homicide disparities and least expecting of personal safety improvements from gun ownership or more permissive gun carrying. Non-owner views differed. Health equity and policy opportunities are discussed.
In June 2021, Missouri passed the “Second Amendment Preservation Act” (SAPA). Though SAPA passed easily and had gubernatorial support, many Missouri law enforcement agencies, including the Missouri Sheriff’s Association, oppose it. Missing from this policy conversation, and deserving of analysis, is the voice of Missouri citizens. Using qualitative interview data and survey data, we explored what if anything Missouri gun owners knew about SAPA and what they perceived its effects would be on gun-related murders, suicides, gun thefts, and mass shootings. Most Missouri gun owners had not heard about SAPA and were ambivalent about its potential effect on gun safety outcomes. Our findings also indicate that respondents’ attitudes toward SAPA and the impact of such policy on safety is driven by gun ownership (i.e., primary versus living in a household with firearms), partisan identification, and attitudes toward government firearm regulation.
This paper evaluates the existing research on Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws in terms of the extent to which it has accounted for gender. In particular, we address (a) what the available evidence suggests are the gender-based impacts of SYG laws and (b) where, how, and why considerations of gender may be missing in available studies.
More than half of all intimate partner homicides involve a firearm and firearms are frequently used by perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV) to injure and threaten victims and survivors. Recent court decisions undermine important legal restrictions on firearm possession by IPV perpetrators, thus jeopardizing the safety of victims and survivors. This article reviews the history and recent developments in the law at the intersection of IPV and firearm violence and proposes a way forward through a health justice framework.
The Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen undermines the ability of cities and states to regulate firearms safety. Nonetheless, we remain hopeful that firearm violence can decline even after the Bruen decision. Several promising public health approaches have gained broader adoption in recent years. This essay examines the key drivers of community firearm violence and reviews promising strategies to reverse those conditions, including community violence intervention (CVI) programs and place-based and structural interventions.
Colorado has consistently had one of the highest rates of suicide in the United States, and El Paso County has the highest number of suicide and firearm-related suicide deaths within the state. Community-based solutions like those of the Suicide Prevention Collaborative of El Paso County may be more effective in preventing suicide as they are specific to local issues, sensitive to local culture, and informed by local data, community members, and stakeholders.
In COVID’s immediate wake, the 2020 death toll from a different enemy of the public’s health — gun violence — ticked up by 15 percent in the United States from the previous year. Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in Caniglia v. Strom that will allow people who have recently threatened suicide — with a gun — to keep unsecured guns in their home unless police take time to obtain a search warrant to remove them.
This manuscript uses competitive college football as a lens into the complexities of decision-making amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Pulling together what is known about the decision-makers, the decision-making processes, the social and political context, the risks and benefits, and the underlying obligations of institutions to these athletes, we conduct an ethical analysis of the decisions surrounding the 2020 fall football season. Based on this ethical analysis, we provide key recommendations to improve similar decision processes moving forward.
During the 20th Century, thirty-two state legislatures passed laws that sanctioned coercive sexual sterilization as a solution to the purported detrimental increases in the population of “unfit” or “defective” citizens. While both scholarly and popular commentary has attempted to attribute these laws to political parties, or to broad or poorly defined ideological groups such as “progressives,” no one has identified the political allegiance of each legislator who introduced a successfully adopted sterilization law, and the governor who signed it. This article remedies that omission.
The World Health Assembly has encouraged WHO member-states to establish capacity in health technology assessment (HTA) as a support for achieving universal health coverage (UHC). Simultaneously, the WHO has stated that UHC is “a practical expression of the concern for health equity and the right to health.” This has prompted questions about potential tensions between priority-setting efforts and the right to health on the road to UHC. South Africa (SA) is an ideal setting in which to explore how the priority-setting work of an HTA body may be integrated with an existing rights framework.
“Comprehensive Healthcare for America” is a largely single-payer reform proposal that, by applying the insights of behavioral economics, may be able to rally patients and clinicians sufficiently to overcome the opposition of politicians and vested interests to providing all Americans with less complicated and less costly access to needed healthcare.
Drawing on ethical and legal frameworks in the Netherlands, the United States and France, we examine whether physicians are expected to inform patients about potentially relevant opportunities for expanded access to investigational drugs. While we found no definitive legal obligation, we argue that physicians have a moral obligation to discuss opportunities for expanded access with patients who have run out of treatment options to prevent inequality, to promote autonomy, and to achieve beneficence.
Vermeulen et al. suggest a moral duty exists for physicians to inform patients of “relevant opportunities” for Expanded Access. Such a duty is likely both too broad, leading to important practical challenges, and too narrow, without further steps to promote patient access. However, physicians should be expected to be aware of the EA pathway, disclose it to eligible patients, and support the pursuit of EA options reasonably likely to help.
This article examines Bey v. City of New York — a recent Second Circuit case where four Black firefights suffering from Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (a skin condition causing irritation when shaving which mostly affects Black men) challenged the New York City Fire Department’s Clean Shave Policy — with an intersectional approach utilizing legal theories of racial, disability, and religious discrimination.
The prison-industrial complex has historically operated as a mechanism for social control generally and as a tool to restrict women’s reproductive capacities specifically. Reproductive justice is a domain within the practice of health law. However, health law as currently practiced is ill-equipped to understand how the carceral state functions as a structural determinant of health or how legacies of oppression have facilitated the abridgment of incarcerated women’s reproductive capacities.
Among the morass of critical issues impacting the results of the midterm elections in 2022 were core public health issues related to health care access, justice, and reforms. Collectively, voters’ communal health and safety concerns dominated outcomes in key races which may shape national, state, and local legal approaches to protecting the public’s health in the modern era.