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AVENTURA, FLA. – THE leader of the nation’s largest organization of physicians and medical students stressed this week that gun violence in America should be treated as a major public health issue, but rejected arguments blaming mental illness for mass shootings like last weekend’s twin massacres in Ohio and Texas.
Dr. Patrice Harris said that – despite the mass shootings that killed more than two dozen people in Dayton and El Paso last weekend and seized national attention – the problem of gun-related violence is complex, sweeps in suicides as well as commonplace homicides, and requires more than a “one size fits all” solution.
“So that everyone is clear: Mass shootings do not equate to mental illness, do not equate to a problem with mental illness,” Harris, the new president of the American Medical Association, said Thursday at the annual National Association of Black Journalists convention in this suburb north of Miami.