Enact meaningful gun control legislation - June 2017
In the wake of the latest mass shooting in Orlando, FL, and on the occasion of the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) 2016 Membership Assembly, attendees stand in solidarity with the individuals, families and communities impacted by gun violence and with the nurses and other health care professionals who respond and provide care.
- WHEREAS, in recent years, our country has endured unspeakable acts of violence with the common thread in each of these mass-casualty tragedies being easy access to guns.
- WHEREAS, the easy access to guns and inadequate access to mental health services contributes to an unsafe environment.
- WHEREAS, at an alarming rate, registered nurses and other health professionals, in emergency departments, hospitals and clinics across the country, are called upon to care for victims of mass shootings, homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings.
- WHEREAS, ANA commends the nurses and entire health care team at Orlando Regional Medical Center and the other receiving facilities for their dedication and professionalism during this tragic event.
- WHEREAS, of grave concern to ANA are all human rights violations, including hate crimes. The Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements calls on nurses to respect all cultures, value systems, sexual orientation or gender expression and act to change those aspects of social structures that detract from health and well-being.
- WHEREAS, since 1994, ANA has considered gun violence to be a public health issue with subsequent policy action calling on the need for limits on the availability of handguns, a ban on assault weapons, and a waiting period and background check of purchasers.
Therefore, the 2016 Membership Assembly declares,
- THAT, now is the time for passage of meaningful gun control legislation at the state and federal level to protect society.
- THAT, the U.S. Congress should immediately repeal legislative language blocking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from conducting gun violence research.
- THAT, we all must join with other members of our community and at every level of civil society in dialogue and action to address the underlying issues that result in hate and motivate these unspeakable acts of violence.