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APA Stands with LGBT Community in Wake of Orlando Shooting


When news of the mass shooting in Orlando broke, reports indicated yet another tragic instance of gun violence that has unfortunately become a disturbing norm in our country. We soon learned that the attack was a targeted assault on the LGBT community. We at the APA offer our deepest condolences to all those touched by this tragedy. You have our sympathy and our unwavering support.

The attack on Pulse Nightclub in Orlando constituted an invasion of a safe space for LGBT people. As our friends and colleagues in the Association of LGBTQ Psychiatrists (AGLP) pointed out: “The LGBT community in many parts of the country and world depend on these establishments as a place they can express their true selves without fear for their safety.”

One of the most odious aspects of violent incidents like the one in Orlando is the feeling that our safe spaces, those places where we feel most comfortable being ourselves have been taken away from us. The disturbing truth is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find anyone who has not been touched by gun violence in our country, either directly or indirectly. This crisis affects each and every American. Indeed, an attack on one of us, regardless of race, religion, gender identity or ethnicity, is an attack on us all.

Yesterday the APA joined with the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in offering condolences to the victims, their families and the Orlando community, while also calling for an end to the public health epidemic that is gun violence.

The APA is one of many medical organizations to have called on Congress to fund research into the causes and prevention of gun violence, a public health crisis that kills approximately 91 Americans every day. That would be a step in the right direction, but our leaders and lawmakers must treat the issue with the gravity that it deserves and take action to reduce the devastating effect it is having on our communities.

As physicians, we have dedicated our lives to prevention and healing. We owe it to our patients, their families, and any and all people who have been affected by gun violence to make our voices heard on this issue.

APA and our colleagues in the House of Medicine will continue to urge the decision makers in our country to take action to curb gun violence. The human cost of this epidemic is simply too much for us to bear any longer, and it needs to stop.


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