Washington, DC — Falling less than two weeks after the historic March for Our Lives, April 2-8 marks National Public Health Week — an initiative of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and a unique opportunity to discuss gun violence as the public health crisis APHA and others, including the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, know it is.

Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence Director of Public Health Programs Vicka Chaplin released the following statement:

“Following the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida on February 14, we have seen unprecedented momentum on gun violence prevention led by youth activists from Parkland and impacted communities across the country. Political inaction has allowed gun violence to become a growing public health crisis, and activists are demanding more from their leaders.

“Over 38,000 people died by gun violence in the United States in 2016 — and that is over 38,000 too many. The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, a national leader in evidence-based firearms policy for 40 years, is proud to participate in National Public Health Week as we continue to work to reduce the burden of gun violence.

“Research demonstrates that evidence-based gun laws and interventions save lives. In fact, from enacting extreme risk laws to disarming domestic abusers, engaging impacted communities to training healthcare providers on lethal means counseling for suicide prevention, we are saving lives.

“As public health professionals, our job is to provide guidance to citizens and legislators alike on applying this public health approach to our gun violence epidemic. This National Public Health Week, public health professionals must join the activists and students who marched — from Parkland and from cities across the country — to call for a public health approach to prevent gun violence. Following the research is the best way to craft effective, evidence-based policies that save lives.”