[Editor’s note: In the aftermath of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016, that killed 49 and wounded 63, the American Nurses Association, the principal organization representing the nation’s 3.6 million registered nurses, issued this declaration for the enactment of sensible gun control measures. The association reminds us of its stance each time there is a mass shooting in America, such the horrifically heartbreaking one on May 24, 2022 at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 children and two teachers, and wounded more than a dozen others (and the association surely will do so again with the one that occurred today, July 4, 2022, in Highland Park, Illinois.)
In the wake of the latest mass shooting in Orlando, FL, and on the occasion of the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) 2016 Membership Assembly, attendees stand in solidarity with the individuals, families and communities impacted by gun violence and with the nurses and other health care professionals who respond and provide care.
WHEREAS, the easy access to guns and inadequate access to mental health services contributes to an unsafe environment.
- WHEREAS, at an alarming rate, registered nurses and other health professionals, in emergency departments, hospitals and clinics across the country, are called upon to care for victims of mass shootings, homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings.
- WHEREAS, ANA commends the nurses and entire health care team at Orlando Regional Medical Center and the other receiving facilities for their dedication and professionalism during this tragic event.
- WHEREAS, of grave concern to ANA are all human rights violations, including hate crimes. The Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements calls on nurses to respect all cultures, value systems, sexual orientation or gender expression and act to change those aspects of social structures that detract from health and well-being.
- WHEREAS, since 1994, ANA has considered gun violence to be a public health issue with subsequent policy action calling on the need for limits on the availability of handguns, a ban on assault weapons, and a waiting period and background check of purchasers.