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August 28, 2018

Firearm-Related Mortality: A Global Public Health Problem

Author Affiliations
  • 1Departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 2Center for Health Policy/Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, Stanford University School of Medicine and Stanford Law School, Stanford, California
  • 3Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Davis, Sacramento
  • 4Editor in Chief, JAMA Network Open
JAMA. 2018;320(8):764-765. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.9942

Injuries and deaths from firearms are increasingly part of modern consciousness, particularly in some countries. In the United States, gun-related massacres at schools, places of worship, workplaces, night clubs, and recreational venues have seared images of innocent victims in the minds of the populace. In the United States and elsewhere, acts of terrorism committed with firearms and other lethal means have changed the way people live, work, travel, and play. For example, in the United States, armed guards patrol some schools, and some politicians have advocated allowing teachers to carry guns. Although mass shootings and terrorist attacks are the most visible form of gun violence, they account for only a small fraction of the public health burden of firearm-related morbidity and mortality.