Treating gun violence as a disease

by Stasia Thompson

Approximately 82 people in Chicago were reportedly injured and 14 died as a result of gun violence during the extended Fourth of July weekend.

"Those injured or killed are too young and too many," said DeAndre Williams, MD, an emergency physician at Loyola University Health System who worked the holiday. "At Loyola, we are seeing multiple gunshot wounds now as automatic rifles are replacing single-shot weapons, which is an alarming trend."

Some of the violence occurred in Chicago's Garfield Park, less than five miles from Maywood, where Loyola is located.

"Just as with any disease, violence requires awareness, education, prevention, treatment and support to be overcome," said Mark Cichon, DO, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine of Loyola University Medical Center. "Gun violence is a complex, multifaceted public health problem and requires a complex, multifaceted public health strategy. Chicago is one of the largest urban centers in America, so everything here – the good and the bad – is magnified." Cichon also serves on the board of directors of the Illinois College of Emergency Physicians and was recently honored by the state of Illinois for his contributions to improving pediatric health.

Loyola regularly works with community groups and hospital chaplains to diffuse gun and gang violence cases.

Alarming gun violence statistics

  • The average hospital cost for a gunshot wound is $540,000.
  • Handguns (rather than rifles or other types of guns) account for 80 percent of .
  • More than 50 percent of shootings have involved alcohol, consumed either by the victim, the shooter or both.
  • Of deaths from gunfire in the home, 50 percent of victims knew their shooter, with only 20 percent related to home invasions and only 1 percent ruled justifiable homicides, as in self-defense.

"Many of Loyola's ED staff rarely see the fireworks with their friends and families because of high volumes during the Fourth of July holiday and, unfortunately, we often see the gunfire victims," Cichon said. "The violence statistics are up this year as compared with last year, so I know that emergency departments will likely be busy next holiday."

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Melani
3 / 5 (2) Jul 10, 2014
"14 deaths from gun violence during 4th of July week, in Chicago." More than half alcohol.
Maybe one sentence hear is true?

8 of the 14 were police doing the killing.

Another was a lawful gun carrier who saved many lives by carrying his gun. There were 3 shooting into a crowd and he saved them. So, only 6/14 were criminals with guns.

Not a single shooting was with an "automatic weapon".

The total shootings in the same week by the eleven whole states who allow gun carry with most no restrictions were less than just in Chicago which has more gun control laws than anywhere else...

Chicago has a different government and culture than the rest of the country. It has nothing to do with legal gun ownership or gun control laws.
teebonicus
3 / 5 (2) Jul 11, 2014
Call it whatever you want, but don't expect whatever you call it to trump the sanctity of the people's right to go armed.

You can't circumvent constitutionally guaranteed rights by redefining the debate.

Just so you understand that.

DO you understand that....?
Sinister1812
not rated yet Jul 11, 2014
And folks, that's what's wrong with America.
bmg17a1
2 / 5 (2) Jul 11, 2014
"Only" 20 % are home invasion? Who is this guy kidding? Home invasions are a major reason that firearms are kept for protection. That number is huge for such a horrifying and violent crime!!
Of course body count is the sole metric used to "prove" the need to deprive citizens of their right to self protection, but what is never mentioned, ever, in the main stream media, or by the medical experts wishing to treat firearms use as a health issue, are the over a hundred thousand events per year where a firearm is brandished or displayed to subvert a crime without a shot being fired or any injuries or death.
If the medical profession wants to influence the use of firearms in the US and make a difference, they must be more truthful and include the pro-firearms side of the equation, which they absolutely would demand of anyone trying to tamper with the legalities of their profession. Their witch doctor approach to the firearms issue makes them look stupid.

Bob Naess
jwoodatty
3 / 5 (2) Jul 11, 2014
Preventable errors contribute to the deaths of 210,000 hospital patients annually. Maybe we should address "hospital violence" first. http://www.propub...ospitals
textopcat
1 / 5 (1) Jul 11, 2014
When the discussion is "gun violence" there can never be an honest discussion. "Gun VIolence" or the "threat of gun violence" happens 2.5 million times evey year to prevent violent criminal acts. Every time a citizen or police officer has to use force to STOP an immediate violent threat it most likely involves a gun. So, the idea of gun violence as being unnecessary is wrong.,
We should be talking about ways to reduce "CRIMINAL VIOLENCE" so that are homes and citys would be safer.
Sinister1812
not rated yet Jul 12, 2014
So every time there's a mass shooting it's always to stop "criminal violence"?

The problem here is both attitude and denial that there's a problem.
freethinking
not rated yet Jul 13, 2014
How about we declare Liberalism and Progressive-ism and people who vote for democrats as a disease.

If you take a look at all shootings in the United States, 90+% of them are done by those who support liberal/progressive policies or vote for democrats.

Guns don't kill..... democrats with guns kill.

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