CCMC forum focuses on curbing gun violence - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

CCMC forum focuses on curbing gun violence

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A number of healthcare providers, police and educators met Friday morning with the goal of reducing gun violence in Connecticut.

Connecticut Children's Medical Center hosted a firearm policy forum, with a discussion on gun violence from the view of public health leaders and some of the doctors, who saw the aftermath firsthand.

"Year after year, more Americans are dying from gunfire than any other high-income country," said Dr. Matthew Miller, who works at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. "In this regard our nation has not done particularly well."

On Dec. 14, Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother while she slept at her home before he went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 children and six adults. He killed himself as police made their way into the building.

The keynote speaker at the forum was Miller, who stated that more guns likely leads to more homicides. For the past 20 years, he's been researching firearm deaths and injuries, which he called an epidemic.

"I literally just got an email from a woman in Danbury, wanting information so she could understand and that's the key word, understand what an assault weapon is, what a high-capacity magazine is," said Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance. "Really, people want to learn, their eyes are starting to open and this is something we need to talk about, something that needs to be addressed."

Healthcare providers and educators are trying to have a discussion on gun control. But, they add it's more than just one incident and they said gun violence isn't just a problem, but a public health issue.

"We are just as concerned for the people who might use a gun on themselves as we are for the people who might use a gun on someone else," said Dr. Jewel Mullen, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

The group hopes their discussion will draft suggestion on policy recommendations to both the Governor's Sandy Hook Commission and the legislative Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety.

"Now is the time for us to come together to address this uniquely American public health problem," Miller said. "I pray we can achieve something durable and good."

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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