Gun control measures aggressively pushed by the AMA

On June 13, The American Medical Association (AMA) approved a list of aggressive gun control measures. The group made the announcement at its yearly policy-making meeting where it referred to gun violence in the United States as a public health crisis.

The list includes recommendations to ban the sale of firearms and ammunition to people below the age of 21, bump stocks that convert firearms into weapons that mimic fully automatic weapons, and semi-automatic assault-type weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. In addition, the AMA voted to strengthen background check regulations and to establish a national gun registry for all firearms.

The group approved the measure with 446 votes in favor of the proposal while 99 votes were against it. This announcement comes in light of the AMA recognizing the necessity of enacting legislation to change the way guns are bought and sold in the United States. The AMA has already spent $6.7 million lobbying gun-control advocates in Congress this year and it intends to spend much more money this fall supporting gun control candidates via political contributions and other support.

The AMA brought forth data showing that approximately 40,000 people were killed and 111,000 were injured in the United States from guns alone in 2016. The numbers have only been rising with the numerous school shootings that have plagued the nation.

Gun violence also makes its way into the workplace where in particular, according to the Ankin Law Office LLC, “hospitals are supposed to be scenes of healing and recovery, but all too often they are the scene of violence against healthcare professionals.”

Hospitals are particularly vulnerable workplaces because nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals have a legal obligation to treat patients who are drunk, high, or who are violent offenders in the custody of police and authorities. Additionally, there are numerous incidents in which angry patients or family members lose control and lash out and attack doctors, nurses, and other workers.

While 32 states make it a felony to assault healthcare workers, Maryland is notably absent from the list. If passed, the Safe Care Act legislation may make the workplace safer for healthcare providers in the state.