WASHINGTON November 21, 2022 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) shares the grief about the shooting that occurred in Colorado Springs late Saturday night, killing five people and injuring 25 people. This weekend’s shooting is particularly concerning because it took place at an LGBTQ nightclub on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, indicating that this may have been a hate crime. While this most recent shooting happened to occur in Colorado, the issues that it raises are of national concern. The incident shows how the failings of our current regulations on firearms can combine with the public health threat of hate crimes to devastating effect.
For more than two decades, ACP has called for commonsense policies that would help reduce the number of injuries and deaths stemming from firearms. In 2019 ACP joined with 41 other leading organizations in a joint call-to-action that called for evidence-based solutions to mitigate firearms violence. Since that statement we have continued to work with others in the medical community, including at a recent summit convened in September by the American College of Surgeons. While the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act earlier this year was a promising initial step in enacting policies that could begin to reduce firearms-related deaths and injuries, more needs to be done. We need to ensure that the law goes into effect as quickly as possible, and we need to work on putting into place additional policies that have broad public support.
This weekend we also saw the critical need to improve equity and support for LGBTQ individuals. The discrimination and stigma that members of the LGBTQ community face can be grave threats to their health and well-being. We can see that threat in stark examples like the mass shooting tragedy we saw this weekend. However, it also extends in less glaring ways to policies and systems that codify discrimination and disparities. That is why ACP strongly objects to any policies that reinforce marginalization, discrimination, social stigma, or rejection of LGBTQ persons.
Those of us who are appalled by the multiple mass shooting incidents that continue to occur need to come together to make change and enact polices that could help to prevent future tragedies. We need to end the scourge of firearm violence and take additional measures to ensure that individuals who present a threat to the public are not able to access firearms. We also need to seek ways to better support LGBTQ individuals and steadfastly oppose policies that seek to discriminate.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 160,000 internal medicine physicians, related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Contact: Jacquelyn Blaser, (202) 261-4572, firstname.lastname@example.org