Gun Violence: Effects on Healthcare
Ashley W. Crowley
University of South Alabama
Running head: LEGESLATIVE PAPER
February 2, 2012
The Honorable Senator Bill Nelson
716 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Nelson,
I am currently enrolled in a family nurse practitioner program and attempting to raise awareness of the importance of gun control legislation in relation to healthcare. Your voting record on gun control matters is heretofore unimpressive, but given recent events,
I hope you have had time for a fundamental reconsideration of your position. I am requesting that you join Senator Lautenberg and consider supporting the Gun Show
Background Check Act of 2013, S. 22, as it will help lower the number of deaths and injuries related to gun violence.
As a registered nurse working in the emergency department for over 5 years, I have had numerous opportunities to care for individuals who have been victims of gun violence. In addition, I am an active member of the Emergency Nursing Association (ENA) and certified as a trauma nurse. I am employed by Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, which falls within your district. After spending much of my time caring for individuals and families who have been affected by gun violence, I find it necessary to take a stand in hopes of decreasing the likelihood of this type of event.
I recently cared for an individual who had sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen during a botched robbery. He was Christmas shopping with his wife, when a man with a gun approached him and demanded money. After refusing, he was shot at point blank range. He was brought to our facility as a trauma alert, and unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. His offender had a history of violence and mental illness but still was able to purchase the firearm through secondhand measures. Had an in-depth background check been performed, it is likely that the assailant would not have been able to purchase the firearm. Your support of S. 22 will decrease the number of firearms being sold to and bought by those who have an incriminating background or history of poor mental health. By enacting this bill, those selling firearms will be held in greater accountability, therefore reducing the likelihood of firearm possession by those who have a criminal record or mental illness. I have included talking points related to this particular bill that will demonstrate its importance. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Sincerely,
Ashley Crowley, RN, BSN
Running head: LEGESLATIVE PAPER
Talking Points: Gun Show Background Check Act of 2013 (S.22)
This bill provides greater mandates for background checks and sets forth penalties for record keeping violations for licensed importers, manufacturers, and dealers who transfer one or more firearms to a person who is not licensed and requires licensees to, within 10 days after the transfer, submit a report of the transfer to the Attorney General. The bill grants the Attorney General certain privileges, such as entering the place of business of any gun show promoter and any place where a gun show is held, and without a showing of reasonable cause or a warrant, for purposes of examining records and the inventory of licensees conducting business to determine compliance with this Act.
There were 16,272 murders committed in the USA in 2008. Sixty seven percent involved firearms (Crime in the United States, 2009).
Approximately forty percent of firearms are acquired through “loophole” sales in which no background check was conducted. A national survey revealed that eighty percent of crimes involving weapons were obtained this way. (Webster,
Daniel W. et al, 2012).
With over a 35% increase in firearm related deaths, Florida ranks number 21. This is seven times greater than the national average (Goodman, 2012).