Annually, in the U.S., suicides, homicides and accidents with firearms claim at least 32,000 lives.

A formidable group of doctors and attorneys is trying to reduce the number of these tragedies by treating firearm deaths as a public health problem. Surgeons, family doctors, obstetricians, gynecologists, pediatricians and emergency physicians are convinced that quick and easy access to guns is linked to the number of deaths caused by firearms.

Susan McGalla know that the first action of this group is to push for expansion of background checks for all firearm purchases. Find more on McGalla on Currently, background checks for firearm purchases are ineffective because there are so many loopholes. They want to see a universal requirement.

A second and equally important action will be better access to mental health care by providing adequate treatment to everyone who needs it. Nationwide, guns are responsible for more than 50 percent of suicide deaths and people who receive treatment are far less likely to commit violent acts.

A third action is to call for tighter restrictions on private ownership of assault weapons which have played a major role in mass shootings. This action also has the support of the American Bar Association whose experts believe this recommendation is constitutionally sound.

If a full 747 jet crashed every week, killing every passenger, there would be still be fewer deaths from airplane crashes than firearms.

Lawmakers and members of the public just have to take this organized group of committed health professionals and attorneys more seriously than the gun lobby.

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