Group delivers petition on opening day of special legislative session
A group of Tennessee physicians affiliated with the Protect My Care healthcare advocacy group delivered a petition to the Tennessee General Assembly calling for the body to enact gun safety reform legislation during a special legislative session that begins today.
The petition was signed by 1100 physicians from across Tennessee who are also parents of school-age children. The group says children should not have to fear gun violence when they go to school.
"Growing up in Nashville, I never had to fear guns in schools," said Dr. Vidya Bansal. "As a pediatrician and a parent, the unacceptable, repeated failure of the Tennessee General Assembly to act on even a bare minimum ‘order of protection’ in the aftermath of a school tragedy motivated me to engage other physician parents to demand that our elected leaders enact legislation that will protect our children, our patients, and our communities from senseless gun violence that has become a nationwide public health epidemic."
The petition outlines four specific areas for new laws, including:
- Red Flag Laws
- School Security
- Mental health support and access
- Banning weapons of mass casualty in the form of AR-15 and other assault rifles
Dr. Katrina Green, an emergency department physician practicing in Nashville, explained the urgency of the group's request:
"Tennessee is failing at protecting its citizens. We aren’t safe in schools, places of worship, grocery stores, movie theaters, concerts, shopping malls, or hospitals. Today there is blood on the hands of gun lobbyists, gun manufacturers, and the legislators who refuse to act," said Dr. Green. "Since the supermajority legislature ended their regular session on April 21, without taking any action on gun safety reform, there have been 473 firearm incidents in the state, resulting in the death of 206 people, including 24 children."