Orlando. 49 dead. 53 injured. Most were in their 20's and 30's. Vibrant, healthy people who were in the right place at the right time - dancing and enjoying life with a community where they could be free. One angry person should not be able to kill and injure so many.
Some would prefer a moment of silence to address this tragedy. As doctors and medical students, we know silence is not the answer. We must raise our voices louder and honor the lives of those lost with action.
Even as we write, our colleagues in hospitals across Orlando are scrambling to treat and save those who were injured.
Our profession is doing our part. Congress needs to do theirs. Every year, for twenty years, they have voted to pass a federal budget that restricts the CDC from doing gun violence research. We won't let them do that again.
As early as today, we expect an amendment to be introduced in the House to end the ban on gun violence research.
It's time to flood Congress with calls from doctors and medical students EVERY DAY.
It's easy. Call the Capitol Switchboard now: 202-224-3121
Then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what happened and tell your friends to call too.
Never called Congress before? You can bet the NRA will be calling them and telling them to hold strong. Here's what you can say:
"My name is [X]. I am a [Doctor or Medical Student] from [your city] with Doctors for America. I am outraged by what happened in Orlando. It is past time for us as a nation to see that gun violence is a public health crisis that we can no longer ignore. Will you vote to end the ban on CDC gun violence research and fund the CDC to do this important work?"
Every day, we mourn with the families of the 32,000 people every year who are killed by guns. We struggle to heal the 108,000 people every year who are injured - many of them permanently robbed of a fully functioning life.
Because of you, Doctors for America is leading the way on this critical issue. We delivered a petition to Congress from doctors and medical students in all 50 states. We have gathered a growing coalition of over 100 medical, public health, and science organizations who are taking a stand including the American Public Health Association, the American Medical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and many more. And we are working with champions in both the House and Senate to build support in Congress including organizing a bipartisan letter signed by 146 House members two weeks ago.
We can win this fight if all of us work together. In the days and weeks to come, your advocacy will make all the difference.