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National Trauma Awareness Month 2019 Resources
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Across the country the impact of firearm-related violence varies in incidence and intensity by community. According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cities carry the “largest burden” of these impacts.[1] Violence in urban areas is evidenced by lost lives, disabling injuries, and witnesses that carry emotional scars.  Firearm have become tools of violence in urban areas. 

 

According to Everytown For Gun Safety, the firearm-related homicide rate in American cities is double the national rate. In the 25 largest cities in the nation, an assault committed with a gun is at least five times more likely to result in death than an assault with a knife.[2] However, over the last decade gun violence in these cities has declined as they have implemented policy, prevention, and policing strategies. Although this decline suggests that prevention strategies are working, these efforts must be ongoing since the majority of firearm-related violence and homicides still happen in these urban settings.

 

The purpose of this section is to provide resources and education to prevent urban-based firearm violence. We hope you are able to use these materials to promote prevention strategies in your community.


[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Violence-related firearm deaths among residents of metropolitan areas and cities – United States, 2006 – 2007. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2011; 60 (18): 573-578

 

[2] https://everytownresearch.org/reports/strategies-for-reducing-gun-violence-in-american-cities/#foot_note_264

 

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Hunter Safety and Firearms


Preventing firearm-related deaths and injuries needs to encompass more than curbing violence, dealing with suicide, and addressing behavioral health issues. Firearms have been a part of hunting, one of our oldest sporting and recreational pastimes, for a long time. Although states designate their own hunting areas and seasons, hunters use firearms and other weapons as part of this activity across the nation. Years of hunter safety initiatives have helped to decrease injuries and deaths in this sport, including those that are related to firearms.

 

According to the State of New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation, since they introduced their first Hunter Safety Education program in 1949, the number of hunting-related “incidents has declined significantly”.[1] Last year tied with 2016 for New York’s lowest number of hunting-related firearm shootings, 13 total. [2] According to the Intentional Hunter Education Association, less than 1,000 people are unintentionally shot by hunters in the United States and Canada, with fewer than 75 fatalities from these incidents. Additionally, the National Safety Council has recorded a decline in incidents involving hunting and firearms. Education and prevention programs have been part of a successful strategy for firearm-related injuries in hunting to decline, and these programs serve as a model for other injury and violence prevention programs.

 

The purpose of this section is to provide resources and education about firearm safety for hunters. We hope you are able to use these materials to promote hunter safety in your community.



[1] https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/49506.html

[2] ibid

 

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Suicide and Firearm Prevention


According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), suicide by firearm has become a significant public health crisis.[1] Close to 22,000 Americans take their own lives by firearm every year. Additionally, this number has grown by 19% over the past decade, which shows the importance of amplifying existing prevention programs. Studies have shown that firearm owners are not more suicidal than non-firearm owners, but access to firearms in times of crisis make their suicidal tendencies more lethal.[2] According to Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health, proximity to firearms matters when a person is considering suicide. Efforts to put time and space between a person considering suicide and lethal means, such as a firearm, can be effective.

 

Firearm owners, retailers, and associations play an important role in this conversation and are increasing their engagement. Today, organizations in 21 states have entered partnerships to help prevent suicide by firearm. Examples of community partnerships that have evolved include[3]:

  • The National Shooting Sports Foundation
  • Maryland Licensed Firearm Dealers Association
  • Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition
  • Gun Owners of Vermont
  • Vermont Federal of Sportsmen’s Club
  • Second Amendment Foundation
  • Utah Shooting Sports Council

Some of the most unique prevention efforts have involved partnerships with retailers working within the Gun Shop Project. Owners and staff share guidelines on how to avoid either renting or selling firearms to customers who appear suicidal. These groups are also willing to display posters and provide tip/fact sheets and brochures on suicide prevention and firearm safety.  Model projects such as these, targeted at a population of people who are looking to take their lives, have demonstrated that novel prevention approaches can work. 

 

The purpose of this section is to provide resources and education regarding the prevention of suicide by firearm. We hope you are able to use these materials to promote suicide prevention in your community.



[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). A yearly average was developed using five years of most recent available data: 2012-2016. Children and teens defined as 0 to 19.

[2] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/means-matter/gun-owners/

[3] ibid

 

 

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The “Stop the Bleed” campaign is a nationwide effort, designed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to empower individuals to act quickly and prevent death. Each day we see the tragic effects of injury, from the unintentional to the horrifically intentional. A review of the injured shows us that people die each day from uncontrolled bleeding. Though we often think of these instances as intentional shooting events, many people are injured and have serious bleeding from other events including lawn mower crashes, traffic collisions, boating incidents, farming or industrial events, hiking, hunting, and other home events. The goal of the campaign is to provide everyone with the knowledge and resources to intervene when someone is bleeding to death. 

 

Stop the Bleed  is a program of education and a means of encouraging communities to deploy Stop the Bleed kits everywhere you would find an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). The program seeks to empower communities and show people that together we can save lives. Learn more about programs and resources by visiting these sites.

 

We hope the campaign and its materials will continue to draw attention to these issues and invoke community-based change. The ATS has posted this year’s campaign materials electronically for your use, not only for May, but also in the months thereafter.

 

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The 'Stop the Bleed' campaign was initiated by a federal interagency workgroup convened by the National Security Council Staff, The White House. The purpose of the campaign is to build national resilience by better preparing the public to save lives by raising awareness of basic actions to stop life threatening bleeding following everyday emergencies and man-made and natural disasters. Advances made by military medicine and research in hemorrhage control during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have informed the work of this initiative which exemplifies translation of knowledge back to the homeland to the benefit of the general public. The Department of the Defense owns the 'Stop the Bleed' logo and phrase – trademark pending. 

 

Firearm owners have a responsibility to practice safe handling and storage of firearms in their homes and communities. Safeguards that prevent the unauthorized use of a firearm are a key aspect of injury prevention in this area. For a number of years, injury prevention and firearm safety organizations have worked together to reduce death and disability by actively promoting the proper care and use of firearms. We are highlighting two programs, firearm safe storage and firearm buy back. 

 

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has teamed up with Project ChildSafe to promote safe storage by distributing 37 million-gun locks free of charge in more than 15,000 communities.[1] The NSSF and Project ChildSafe are just two of the organizations promoting firearm injury prevention strategies including:

 

·       Firearm Safes

·       Firearm Locks

·       Lockable Firearm Case and Boxes

 

A survey of gun owners by the industry revealed that safe storage devices are widely used. More than 80% of gun owners reported that they use a gun safe. Additionally, nearly all of those surveyed reported that firearm safety is “extremely important” to them. Firearm buy back programs are a more recent community-level prevention initiative.  These events are for members of the community to eliminate “unwanted” firearms.[2] These programs are one of the spokes to promote firearm safety and prevent deaths and injuries from firearms, and gun owners typically consider them to be safe and non-threatening.[3]  Ideally, these programs are combined with other efforts to broaden their appeal to all communities. Although further research in this area is needed, injury prevention experts have noted that those who participate in successful gun buyback programs are empowered to better their community.

 

The purpose of this section is to provide resources and education regarding firearm safe storage and buyback programs. We hope you are able to use these materials to promote firearm safety in your community.


[1] https://www.nssf.org/the-success-of-safe-storage-programs-by-the-numbers/

 

[2] Violano, P., Driscoll, C., Chaudhary, N., Schuster, K., Davis, K., Borer, E., Winters, J., & Hirsh, M. (2014). Gun buyback programs: A venue to eliminate unwanted guns in the country. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery,77(3), S46-S50.

[3] Braga, A., & Wintemute, G. (2013). Improving the Effectiveness of Gun Buyback Programs. American Journal of Preventive Medicine,3;45(5), 668-671. 

 

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