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Editorial
December 2017

Death by Gun Violence—A Public Health Crisis

Author Affiliations
  • 1Editor in Chief, JAMA and The JAMA Network
  • 2Editor, JAMA Pediatrics and JAMA Network Open
  • 3Editor, JAMA Cardiology
  • 4Editor, JAMA Ophthalmology
  • 5Editor, JAMA Oncology
  • 6Editor, JAMA Psychiatry
  • 7Editor, JAMA Neurology
  • 8Editor, JAMA Surgery
  • 9Editor, JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery
  • 10Editor, JAMA Internal Medicine
  • 11Editor, JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery
  • 12Editor, JAMA Dermatology
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(12):1223-1224. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.4972

The shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, that left 59 people dead, 10 times that number wounded, and thousands of people with the psychological distress from being present at the scene during and after the massacre has once again raised the issue of what we as a nation can and should do about guns. The solution lies in not just focusing on Las Vegas and the hundreds of other mass shootings that have occurred in the United States in the last 14 months, but rather to underscore that on average almost 100 people die each day in the United States from gun violence. The 36 252 deaths from firearms in the United States in 20151 exceeded the number of deaths from motor vehicle traffic crashes that year (36 161).1 That same year, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 5 people died from terrorism. Since 1968, more individuals in the United States have died from gun violence than in battle during all the wars the country has fought since its inception.2

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