Navigation Links
Broader background checks and denial criteria could help prevent mass shooting catastrophes

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) Garen Wintemute, a leading authority on gun violence prevention and an emergency medicine physician at UC Davis, believes broader criteria for background checks and denials on gun purchases can help prevent future firearm violence, including mass shooting catastrophes such as those that occurred at Sandy Hook, Aurora, Virginia Tech and Columbine.

"To reduce the number of deaths and injuries from firearms in the United States, we need to develop policies that require background checks for all firearm purchases, including private-party sales the most important source of firearms for criminal buyers and others who are prohibited from purchasing guns," said Wintemute, director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program and inaugural Susan P. Baker-Stephen P. Teret Chair in Violence Prevention at UC Davis.

"We need to prevent individuals with a previous conviction for a misdemeanor violent crime, such as assault and battery, from purchasing or possessing a firearm. We also need to develop better data and criteria that allow us to distinguish between those with a treatable mental disorder who do not have a history of violence from those with a history of violence or substance abuse," he said.

Wintemutes views posted on the Online First section of the New England Journal of Medicine website as a Perspective article, entitled Tragedys Legacy, on December 26, 2012. It also will appear in the journal's January 31, 2013 print edition.

According to Wintemute, the United States represents only 5 percent of the worlds population, but it owns more than 40 percent of all firearms that are in civilians hands. In addition, he believes that policies governing gun purchases and use have allowed the widest possible array of firearms to be available to the widest group of people, for use under the widest array of conditions. Wintemute specifically cites the Stand Your Ground laws, enacted at the state level, as dangerous experiments that have been used to legitimize shootings that once were considered to be murder.

Wintemute emphasizes taking a broad approach.

"It may be impossible to predict the next mass shooting incident, and we cannot expect interventions designed for specific circumstances to eliminate the risk of firearm violence. But we can change our firearms laws, based on existing evidence, to reduce harm and better ensure public safety, he said.

Some 40 percent of all firearm transactions, for example, involve private-party sellers, who are not required to keep records and cannot obtain a background check, Wintemute said. We need policies that prevent these quick, anonymous and undocumented sales. We also need policies that deny gun purchases to those who we know are at high risk for violence.

Wintemutes research has shown that among persons who purchase firearms legally, those with a previous conviction for a misdemeanor violent crime are roughly nine times as likely as those with no criminal history to be arrested for a violent crime later. For those with two or more such prior convictions, he found the risk increases by a factor of 10 to 15. In addition, studies have shown that firearm owners who abuse alcohol are more likely than other owners to engage in violence-related firearm behavior.

We know that comprehensive background checks and expanded denial criteria are feasible and effective, because they are in place in many states and have been evaluated, Wintemute said. In California, the denial policy reduced the risk of violence and firearm-related crime by 23 percent among those whose purchases were denied. But we need to broaden these and other effective state-level regulations to eliminate the flow of firearms from states where laws are lax to states where laws are stricter.

Wintemute also notes that proposals for comprehensive background checks and denials for misdemeanor violence and for alcohol abuse enjoy broad public support, including among firearm owners. Survey data come from Wintemutes own research as well as a series of public polls conducted for the Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

While the individual circumstances of the mass shooting massacres in the U.S. are different, we can only change the outcome if we confront the challenge of unchecked and easy access to firearms, Wintemute said. Strengthening our background check and denial policies for firearm purchases will not eliminate firearm violence, but they can reduce it.


Contact: Carole Gan
University of California - Davis Health System

Related medicine news :

1. U.S. Children Exposed to Hours of Background TV Daily
2. Viewers family background affects how they react to MTV shows 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom
3. SingleSource Background Screening Company Calls On Adults To Take Proactive Approach To Stop Child Sexual Abuse
4. Color-coded labels improve healthy food choices in employees from all backgrounds
5. Middle-Aged Diabetics May Need Earlier Colon Checks
6. Simple ovarian cancer symptom survey that checks for 6 warning signs may improve early detection
7. Many Americans in Denial Over Weight Gain: Study
8. Autism by the numbers: Yale researchers examine impact of new diagnostic criteria
9. BUSM/VA researchers examine new PTSD diagnosis criteria
10. Doctors call for evidence-based appropriateness criteria for elective procedures
11. Red wine, fruit compound could help block fat cell formation
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... , ... Key Housing, a top-rated corporate housing service for the San Jose ... Epic. In showcasing this featured apartment community in San Jose, Key Housing is helping ... efficiently find housing suitable to their needs by showcasing quality housing. , “San Jose ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... Trying to relax on a ... COUCH BUDDY. "I conceived of this design due to personal experience with a bad ... It promotes relaxation and convenience, as well as increases support. It also makes it ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... There is only one major question facing all law firms in the ... has not been an easy question to answer. Especially when the senior partners and ... don’t share the same discipline around working long hours. , In addition to ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article ... the way that they are handling security in light of the recent terrorist attacks ... in an attempt to stop an attack from reaching U.S. soil. Especially around special ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... a safe and convenient way to dispense prescription medications at home, so he ... effective way to monitor and dispense prescription medications. In doing so, it could ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... -- Research and Markets ( ) has announced ... by Type (Dressings, Therapy Devices, Active Wound Care), Application ... and Geography - Global Forecast to 2020" report ... --> The purpose of this report is ... global advanced wound care market. It involves deep dive ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... --> adds "Global Repaglinide ... "Investigation Report on China Repaglinide Market, ... forecasts data and information to its ... . --> ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research ... addition of the "2016 Future Horizons and ... (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive ... --> --> ... analysis of the Italian therapeutic drug monitoring market, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: