ACP decries gun violence, hate crimes

March 26, 2021
Keith A. Reynolds

The physician’s organization is calling for policies to prevent gun violence and hate crimes.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is calling for policies to prevent gun violence and hate crimes in light of recent mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado.

In a statement from ACP President Jacqueline W. Fincher, MD, MACP, the organization expressed its sympathy for those killed and injured in those shootings and gratitude to the physicians, first responders, and law enforcement officers who helped the victims.

“It is disheartening to once again be facing the tragedy that firearms-related violence brings to our communities,” the statement says. “ACP believes that something can, and must, be done about it.”

In 2020 more Americans died due to firearms than any other year over the past two decades illustrating the need for gun control policies. The shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, which left eight dead, is particularly troubling due to the combination of gun deaths and violence directed Asian people, Fincher writes.

The organization has urged action to address gun-related injuries for more than 20 years having updated the comprehensive firearms policy paper, Reducing Firearm-Related Injuries and Deaths in the U.S., in 2018, which supports laws to improve background checks and policies which reduce gun-related deaths. The ACP also strongly supports efforts in congress to enact the Background Check Expansion Act and calls for a ban on assault weapons, the statement says.

The ACP has called for public officials to recognize the public health impact that hate crimes have and has called attention to the issue of harassment against people of Asian descent. The organization also strongly supports the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, according to the statement.

“It is time for all who share ACP’s commitment to preventing avoidable deaths and injuries from firearms, and all who share our commitment to inclusion and non-discrimination, to come together to call for policies that can help prevent these needless tragedies,” Fincher writes.