A resource bank for gun violence will soon be available in Colorado
DENVER, Colo. (KJCT) - In a few months, a resource bank dedicated to gun violence prevention in Colorado will become available. The state is working to take a public health approach to the issue and tackle it alongside researchers.
Katie Eastman spoke with Dr. Emmy Betz, who as an emergency doctor, sees firsthand the toll gun violence can take. She also works to find solutions as the Deputy Director of the Injury and Violence Prevention Center at the University of Colorado.
“I would say my experience on the whole has been that people are really interested and appreciative of an approach that cuts through the noise,” says Dr. Betz.
Through the Injury Violence and Prevention Center, Dr. Betz has worked with owners of gun shops to talk about suicide prevention and community groups dealing with youth violence in the metro area.
With each community, there’s a different approach.
“It’s not about politics,” said Dr. Betz, “It’s not about passing legislation. It’s about finding solutions to keep people healthy.”
It’s about looking at gun violence through a public health lens.
“It’s saying it’s not just a criminal problem,” said Dr. Betz. “It’s not just for police departments or for the criminal system to fix this. It is a public health issue because people are dying, because people are hurt and because we - there are emotional and psychological scars that come from being a victim of gun violence or witnessing it.”
That’s why the State Department of Health partnered with the Injury and Violence Prevention Center, to create a resource bank. It will be a place where people can learn about Colorado’s current situation when it comes to injury and death from firearms.
“And we know that no one – gun owner or non gun owner – no one wants this violence to be happening,” says Dr. Betz.
This resource bank website is expected to launch this summer. The State Department of Public Health says they envision it as the “unofficial Google of all things gun violence prevention.”
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