Thursday April 27th 2017

ANA urges nurses to help stop gun violence

In the wake of the Orlando, FL, massacre, the American Nurses Association issued a declaration June 25 calling for sensible gun control measures, including one that lifts a ban on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from studying gun violence.

The action took place at ANA’s annual Membership Assembly.

“Now is the time to enact meaningful gun control legislation at the state and federal level to protect society,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.  “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 unspeakable acts of violence.”

In taking the action, the declaration cites the easy access to guns and inadequate access to mental health services as contributing to an unsafe environment. It also states that, at an alarming rate, RNs 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.

It further points to ANA’s grave concern regarding all human rights violations, including hate crimes.  The Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements specifically 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.

ANA has long considered gun violence to be a public health issue and has advocated for limiting the availability of handguns, banning assault weapons, and instituting a waiting period and background check for firearms purchasers.

To read the entire declaration, go to www.nursingworld.org/ANA-MeaningfulGunLegislationDeclaration.

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