NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–On Friday, September 16, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) welcomed United States Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., to speak about gun violence as a public health issue.
Pallone represents the people of New Jersey’s 6th congressional district, and is a ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
In attendance were representatives from the Brady Campaign, Million Moms March, the New Jersey State Nurses Association and the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
In light of mass shootings that have occurred and continue to occur, Pallone expressed the need for immediate reforms.
“They become so common, you don’t even become surprised by them anymore,” said Congressman Pallone. "Every time this happens, a lot of people think Congress is going to come to a solution but they don’t. There are moments of silences, ceremonies and prayers are said, but legislation is not made on a congressional level."
According to press release sent out by the Congressman, “306 people in America are shot in homicides, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, and police intervention. These shootings have an enormous impact on trauma centers throughout the country.”
In 2014, President Barack Obama ended the ban that prohibited the Center for Disease Control, CDC, for researching gun related trauma and injury.
However, a roadblock for funding this type of research still exists. Currently no funding can back this research, and during the event, several health care professionals demanded the need for evidence-based research.
“More than 100,000 people in the United State are shot or killed with a gun annually, and according to recent survey done by Johns Hopkins university 90% of all people who are polled including 75% identify as NRA members support common sense initiatives,” said the Congressman.
Dr. Alan Weller, the Vice President of the New Jersey Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics, alongside several other health care professionals, enthusiastically supported Pallone's efforts towards legislative action.