President Obama announced new executive actions to reduce gun violence. The following statement is attributable to American Nurses Association (ANA) President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, in response to today’s announcement:
“Mass shootings and other tragedies have unfortunately become all too common in this country and steps must be taken to stop the carnage. We commend President Obama for taking necessary actions today to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer.
The president’s actions will make an immediate impact. Commonsense reforms aimed at keeping guns out of the wrong hands through background checks and increasing research into the development of gun safety technology will help protect our communities from the endless series of preventable violence that steals innocent lives, taxes our health care system, and leaves communities and families broken.
We are especially heartened by the president’s emphasis on increasing access to mental health care. While people with mental illness are more likely to be the victims of gun violence rather than the perpetrators, recent events have repeatedly shown the link between easy access to guns and inadequate access to mental health care services. ANA applauds President Obama’s investment of $500 million dedicated to supporting the engagement of individuals in their care and improving service capacity within the mental health care system. These actions are needed to fix a system that is clearly broken.
As the largest single group of health care professionals, nurses regularly witness the trauma that gun violence inflicts on victims, families and communities. As the premier organization representing the nation’s 3.4 million registered nurses, the American Nurses Association has and will continue to be engaged in efforts to prevent and reduce gun violence. In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy, ANA issued a call to action to Congress and policymakers to take swift action to curb gun violence.
Today’s actions are a start, but we will continue to call on lawmakers to enact additional meaningful reforms to protect society and stop the constant cycle of gun violence and death that plagues our communities.”
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The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation’s 3.4 million registered nurses. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all.