Presentation Title: Principle 1: Gun Policy

Abstract: The first principle of the policy is that the perceived dichotomy of “arms control” versus “gun rights” has created a stalemate in U.S. policy and must be transcended through a different approach to this national debate. The Supreme Court of the United States has determined that there need not be a conflict between the Second Amendment and efforts to minimize harms associated with gun violence (District of Columbia et al. v. Heller, 2008). The policy holds that it is possible to use science-based public health approaches to reduce firearm-related homicide, suicide, and accidental injuries and deaths without abrogating the right to bear arms, just as these approaches have reduced deaths and injuries associated with automobiles, toxic household products, tobacco, and other inherently risky products whose risks we manage in our households and communities. Implementation of science-based, public health approaches to reduce gun-related homicides, suicides, and accidents need not abrogate Second Amendment protections. These approaches have demonstrated effectiveness in substantially reducing injury and death from other products with inherent risks. The policy supports science-based, public health approaches to gun violence prevention by bringing psychology to bear in these approaches in collaboration with multiple stakeholders and disciplines.


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