Is “gun violence” a public health crisis?
To be sure, violent crimes like homicides are sky-high, setting records in a number of places. However, does that raise it to the level of, say, a deadly pandemic?
I wouldn’t imagine so.
That’s not stopping the mayor of Columbus, Ohio from declaring it so.
After 2021 became the second-consecutive record year for homicides in the city, Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and other city leaders announced Tuesday that they are taking the significant step of declaring gun violence a public health crisis within the city. For the first time in the city’s history, Columbus Health Commissioner Myshieka Roberts will coordinate with other city departments to address the problem of gun violence from a public health perspective, Ginther said.
Ginther also announced at the press conference that the city is forming a broad multi-disciplinary coalition to pressure Ohio and U.S. lawmakers to pass legislation to help get illegal guns off the streets.
“Unfortunately, (lawmakers) have not made it easy or have made it almost impossible to take the sort of action that this moment requires,” Ginther said. “Laws passed in the Statehouse and in Congress, as well as legal decisions handed down by the courts, have severely limited our ability to move the needle on gun violence. Just as destructive as these laws can be, inaction is equally infuriating.”
The announcement comes as the violent crime that raged in 2021 in Columbus when a record 204 people were killed — 91% of them from being shot, Ginther said Tuesday — has not abated this year. Eleven people have been killed so far in 2022.
So, while we’re still dealing with a pandemic, we should distract the city’s health commissioner with stuff that falls so far outside her expertise as to be laughable?
Seriously, what will a health commissioner be able to do about so-called gun violence than, say, the chief of police?
So why is there this push to declare “gun violence” a public health crisis?
The answer likely lies in the draconian restrictions people have been more than willing to accept in the name of public health. Their hope is that people will, in time, accept gun control in the same name.
Otherwise, Ginther has accomplished absolutely nothing.
Well, except for making it look like he’s doing something so he can save his job. As it stands, that’s the only thing he may accomplish…and that’s if the people of Columbus are morons.
The problem with violent crimes such as homicide rest not in guns or which offices of the mayors is charged with doing whatever. It’s because there are some bad people who do bad things and they think they can get away with it, if they bother thinking at all.
At the end of the day, treating violence like a public health crisis makes absolutely no sense. It’s not contagious. It’s not a pathogen people can ingest or has gotten into our food or water supply. It’s none of those things. It’s the willful act of broken people.
That’s not a public health issue.