ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Minnesota Medical Association (MMA) released the following statement on Thursday morning:
"Gun violence and firearm-related accidents kill more than 30,000 Americans each year. In Minnesota, there were more than 400 firearm-related deaths in 2016. The recent and relentless mass shootings, as well as the daily toll associated with gun violence and accidents, demand a response.
The MMA considers gun violence a public health crisis and calls on policymakers at the state and national levels to step up and protect our health and safety. The MMA supports common-sense changes to gun laws that will promote safe and responsible gun ownership, including criminal background checks on all purchases and transfers/exchanges of firearms; enforcement of laws that will hold sellers accountable when they sell firearms to prohibited purchasers; investment in improved data collection, analysis, and research on firearm injury prevention; and, a renewal and strengthening of the assault weapons ban, including banning high-capacity magazines.
The MMA also renews its call for improved access to and coverage of comprehensive mental health services. Most individuals with mental illness are not violent. It is important, however, to encourage and support the identification of individuals at risk for violence or self harm. Physicians and other health care providers also have a responsibility to talk to patients about responsible firearm ownership and safe storage in the home.
Few threats to our health and safety can be eliminated, but failure to intervene in the face of this significant epidemic is not an option."
The president-elect of the MMA says they do not wish to take away anyone's rights to own a gun, they would just like to see responsible and safe gun ownership.
But one member of the community says he doesn't see the point in a ban because he believes that no matter what, people will find a way to purchase these weapons anyway.