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"We are better than this" PHI statement on gun violence in Orlando

June 13, 2016

STATEMENT FROM the public health Institute 

“The Public Health Institute condemns Sunday's mass shooting of GLBT individuals and their friends, mostly people of color, in Orlando, Florida, and joins the majority of Americans in calling for immediate changes that strengthen gun safety laws and better protect the American public from gun violence. Every day we wait, we sacrifice more lives.


“We continue to call for Congress to lift the decades-long federal ban on funding for research into the causes and prevention of gun violence, as well as instituting changes to gun design and changes to gun access and licensing, and establishing greater collaboration across sectors to reduce violence.


“We also call for increased awareness of the impact of homophobia and greater condemnation of hate-filled rhetoric that targets LGBT individuals and communities, which makes them more vulnerable to attacks such as the one that happened Sunday. And we decry any attempts to isolate, blame or penalize our Muslim friends, colleagues and neighbors for the actions of one violent individual.


“As public health practitioners we know that hate, isolation and stigma affect the physical, mental and social well-being of all of our communities—whether they be LGBT, Muslim, people of color, or all of the above. And our paralysis in addressing gun violence only adds to a culture of fear, violence, threat and hate. We are better than this, and it needs to stop now.”