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US surgeon general declares US gun violence an urgent public health crisis

Source: CNN

Gun violence in the United States is a public health crisis that demands urgent action, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy declared in a major new advisory that pushes for more research and stronger laws designed to reduce harm.

It’s the first time a publication from the country’s leading voice for public health has focused on firearm violence and its “profound consequences” on survivors, communities, and mental health.

“Over the last decade or two, this problem has been worsening and we have now reached the point where gun violence is the leading cause of death among kids and teens – the leading cause of death. That is something that we should never take as the new normal. There’s nothing normal about that,” Murthy told CNN’s John Berman.

Guns have become a deeply polarizing issue, Murthy said, but the advisory is meant to “take it out of the realm of politics and put it into the realm of public health, which is where it belongs.” The advisory lays out key preventive steps and regulatory measures that Murthy says can turn the tide on gun violence — just as they did for tobacco-related disease and motor vehicle crashes.

“Many people I’ve talked to around the country worry that this may be an intractable problem, that there’s no way to solve it,” he said. “That’s not true.”

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