There are 4 reasons why we should not treat gun violence as a “public health” issue.
1) Gun violence is not an “epidemic”, except in a metaphorical sense.
Epidemics are caused by infectious agents transmitted between people, often without their knowledge. Ordinary people may not be aware that they are inadvertently passing serious diseases to others by sneezing, tainted food, contaminated water, or intermediate vectors such as insects. Physicians can play a crucial role teaching people how to avoid becoming infected as well as how to avoid infecting others. They can also play a legitimate role in guiding government officials on how and when to limit outbreaks through appropriate quarantine measures.
In contrast, “gun violence” is typically caused by malicious or negligent misuse of a firearm outside of legitimate settings such as hunting, shooting sports, or lawful self-defense. Unless the shooter is a psychiatric patient, such shootings fall under the jurisdiction of prosecutors, not doctors.