You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.
Posting a Diary Entry
Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as
is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.
When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.
If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.
ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.
One diary daily maximum.
Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries
that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
Greg Dworkin is a pediatric pulmonologist practicing in Danbury and living in Newtown, Connecticut. He is a contributing editor for Daily Kos, and has worked on public health issues with the White House, the Center for Disease Control and the House and Human Services in two administrations. He is on the steering committee of the newly formed United Physicians of Newtown.
Dr Greg Dworkin, Team 26 leader Monte Frank and Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra (left to right)
Trigger Happy: Need for Reform
60 Minutes Australia interviewed Dr. Greg Dworkin on July 21, 2013 about the need for gun control reform. Dr. Dworkin is a Member of United Physicians of Newtown, on the need for gun control reform. Watch the video Trigger Happy: Need for reform
Join us below the fold with Dr. Greg Dworkin.
United Physicians of Newtown
Dr. Greg Dworkin (Pediatric Pulmonologist), Dr Bill Begg (Emergency Department), Dr Jamie Bruno (United Physicians of Newtown founder, Urologist) (left to right)
To better see the issue as a public health problem, the Institute of Medicine has proposed a 3-5 year research project to better understand the causes of gun violence and steps that can be taken to curb injuries and loss of life. Topics to be covered include the characteristics of gun violence, risk and protective factors, prevention and other interventions, gun safety technology, and the influence of video games and other media. More and better data can only enlighten.
On 12/14, a horrendous mass murder took place at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown. On that day, many of the local doctors were involved in the response at many levels.
Some of the doctors were involved because they had kids at Sandy Hook school that day. Some, like my friend and colleague Dr. William Begg (above video), were in the Emergency Department receiving victims or, like myself, were involved in helping with the emergency response. Many of us had patients and patient families directly affected. All of us know affected families, who are our friends and neighbors.
As part of the response, the doctors who live and work in Newtown have organized into a group, the United Physicians of Newtown, whose goal is to decrease the violence that has taken our children.
I am a member of the group but not its spokesperson. But I can say that all the members feel a special responsibility because of where we work and live to do what we can to decrease violent acts like that which occurred on 12/14.
UPoN has issued a position statement that involves four key areas:
• Mental Health
• Culture of Violence
More specifics can be found just below the fold.
The full position statement can be found on the UPoN website and reads as follows:
We physicians, who have had ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbors and our patients directly impacted by the shootings put forth the following recommendations:
• To promote funding for research and education concerning firearm injury and
• To rescind the restriction on federal institutions (CDC, NIH, NIJ) pursuing
research on violence prevention.
• To create a comprehensive national firearm injury database.
II. Mental Health
• To promote immediate access to mental health services which is affordable,
effective and supportive.
• To enact reforms to reduce the risk encumbered by mental health providers in
caring for mentally ill individuals at risk for violent behavior.
• To encourage effective legislative measures for adjudicating disputes between
patients’ right to refuse and their need for treatment.
• To advocate for financial resources dedicated to mental health.
III. Culture of Violence
• To foster a comprehensive initiative to change societal norms that currently
glorify guns and violence in the media and gaming.
• To promote health care providers’ ability to discuss patients’ exposure to
firearms and violence.
• To require firearm safety including gun locks and safes.
To support comprehensive, universal background checks for the purchase of firearms and ammunition.
• To prohibit the access of firearms and ammunition to high-risk individuals.
• To endorse legislation banning civilian access to assault weapons and
high-capacity [magazines and] ammunition clips.
As members, we believe that all of the local, state and national medical organizations and elected officials should make this a top priority and should use their platform to promote awareness and enact real change to reverse this worsening epidemic.
This is not a fundraising appeal. The goal of the group is to do what we can to foster the above principles, understanding that any one area is insufficient without the others.
Some of our members will interact with media, some will testify at various conferences and hearings, but all will work locally and elsewhere to do what we can to help our neighbors now in any way we can, and work to avoid needing to do it ever again.
In coming days, I hope to interview some of the key group members [an interview with the founder and chairman of the group will be published Sunday], but for now consider this an information post by way of introduction.
The Flag Pole at the Volunteer Fire Department in Newtown, CT
Impingement on freedoms a worthy trade-off to save lives
OP-ED at Politix by Greg Dworkin on Mar 12, 2013 (republished with Author's permission)
On Dec. 14 last year, a horrific event occurred in my home town of Newtown, Conn. Twenty children and six brave educators were senselessly executed by a lone gunman, who had also slain his mother before taking his own life.
The physicians in town who responded that day (including myself), and who work with those that did, have formed a professional group, United Physicians of Newtown.
From our website:
Although our specialties differ, our goal is the same - to stop this national epidemic that has taken our children. We believe this is a major public health issue and can be successfully addressed as with other previous United States epidemics including tobacco, alcohol and motor vehicle safety.
The important thing to us, from a professional vantage point, is to recognize that gun violence is a public health issue. We believe we can learn a lot from previous experience. Some public health interventions were contentious (smoking curtailment, for example, or the current argument over supersized soft drinks) and some less so, such as seat belt and air bag use.
We know that seat belts have saved lives. In fact, they save more than 10,000 a year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Twenty-seven wooden angel figures are seen placed in a wooded area beside a road near the Sandy Hook Elementary School for the victims of a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut December 16, 2012. Twelve girls, eight boys and six adult women were killed
OP-ED at Politix by Greg Dworkin on Jun 18, 2013 (republished with Author's permission)
At the six-month marking of the Dec. 14 Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre, it's relevant to step back and see where we are in responding to tragedy. As I wrote here in March, physicians in Newtown and around the country are taking a renewed look at gun violence as a public health issue.
The statistics continue to be concerning. The Institute of Medicine estimates that there were 105,000 gun related injuries or deaths in 2010, with deaths estimated at a third of that total. With children, there are twice as many homicides as suicides; that's reversed for adults.
Gun deaths, whether accidental or intentional in children, are a leading cause of death.
In theory, these are preventable deaths.
Since the Newtown tragedy, federal attempts to pass background failed their first attempt in the Senate, but by all accounts will be back for another vote. In any case, that's not the only endeavor underway.
The American Pediatric Surgical Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics have all endorsed firearms prevention policy similar to the principles endorsed by my own group, United Physicians of Newtown. They all call for treating gun deaths as a public health issue, working on mental health issues and advocating for background checks, assault weapons bans and high capacity magazine restrictions.
These are the physicians that treat the kids who are shot. It's no coincidence that they see the public health issues involved as clearly as they do. Newtown may have been the catalyst, but gun injuries are a daily event throughout this country, and Newtowners and physicians everywhere are acutely aware that the issue isn't just about Newtown. Meanwhile, the Newtown families themselves continue to be active advocates of change, and the doctors continue to support them.
The Daily Kos Firearms Law and Policy group studies actions for reducing firearm deaths and injuries in a manner that is consistent with the current Supreme Court interpretation of the Second Amendment. We also cover the many positive aspects of gun ownership, including hunting, shooting sports, and self-defense.
On Monday Hugh Jim Bissell reviewed the report for and the panel of experts who authored it. Join with fellow Kossacks to dig into this report and update our understanding of what is known and which questions urgently need more studies.
"This summary merely scratches the surface of the IOM/NRC report. Interested readers can read the entire original report for free, but downloading a copy requires purchase. In addition, the IOM has prepared a Report Brief, which is free and presents an overview of findings. Williem Saletan at Slate Magazine has written a nice article highlighting what he thought are the “top ten” take-away points from the IOM/NRC report."
To see our list of original and republished diaries, go to the Firearms Law and Policy diary list. Click on the ♥ or the word Follow next to our group name to add our posts to your stream, and use the link next to the heart to send a message to the group if you have a question or would like to join.
Please argue your case the way Wee Mamma illustrated in her excellent diary, Make Your Case , attempt to win over your opponent the way akadjian laid out here, and join us for collaborative discussions like this and this.