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  1. Barry Pless
  1. Correspondence to Dr Barry Pless, Retired, 434 Lansdowne, Westmount, Quebec H3Y2V2, Canada; barry.pless{at}

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Gun control in the US: the hot-button topic of our time

I cannot apologise for including several items on gun control in the USA, but there is today no more pressing and contentious issue in this part of the world. As our editor recently noted, the IP blog has been buzzing with postings about new efforts to control gun violence. He and our publishers have greatly assisted by providing a compendium of all papers on the topic ever published in Injury Prevention. A recent blog summarised where matters stood in January. What follows is a précis of a subsequent, more detailed contribution in The Lancet.

President Obama has announced gun control proposals that include reinstating the expired ban on assault weapons, requiring universal background checks and limiting the size of magazines. The Lancet shares the pessimism of many that these measures will be enacted, in part because of the opposition of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and like-minded gun rights advocates. Against this, The Lancet is encouraged that Obama has issued 23 executive orders including authorisation to conduct previously forbidden gun control research based on federal funding. As The Lancet puts it, ‘The CDC and other federally funded bodies must (now) take on the assignment of rebuilding a programme of research.’ It notes the key role practitioners can now play freed from prohibitions from discussing gun safety (as covered in these columns). The piece concludes, ‘It is crucial, however, that America uses the momentum generated by the terrible events of the past few years to keep a conversation about … the prevention of gun violence going.’ =E24A35F

Newtown massacre sways gun views

A New York Times/CBS News poll shows increased support for gun control with 54% in favour of stricter laws, including an 18% increase even among Republicans. This poll suggests the shift is deeper than what was seen after previous …

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  • Contributors Contributions from: RC, RH, PJ, BJ, DL, LL and FR.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.