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July 29, 2013

Gun Violence in the Black Community is a National Public Health Emergency

Gun violence in the African American community is a national public health and safety issue and should be treated as such. Strategies are necessary to stem the rate at which black men are murdering each other.

The American Journal of Medicine reports that homicide is the leading cause of death among young African American men. Ninety-one percent (91%) of the deaths were due to firearms. Medical professionals believe that eliminating wanton homicides due to firearms would improve the life expectancy of young black men more than any other cause of death other than cardiovascular disease or cancer. For them, gun violence is a matter of public health and safety and should be addressed using scientific methodologies in the same way you would address any other issue of public safety.

Gun violence and gun-related homicides are bordering on epidemic health and safety proportions in the African American community. However since 1996 public health research in gun violence, such as the type conducted by the National Institute of Health or the Centers for Disease Control, has been generally discouraged and research that advocates or supports gun control is explicitly forbidden. It would be morally repugnant and intellectually dishonest to continue to block research into the problem.

Policy Mic