Following the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the Rory Meyers College of Nursing announced Feb. 28 that it had signed a letter sent to Congress by the American Association of Nurses that called for a bipartisan National Commission on Mass Shootings to be launched within the next 30 days.
The AAN — a group of fellows that includes association executives, hospital chief executives and researchers, among others who advocate for health care policy and practice — sent the letter to Congress on Feb. 16, which outlined several goals the AAN wanted the proposed commission to work toward.
According to the letter, some of the goals included a universal background check system, a ban on the creation and distribution of assault weapons and support for further training of healthcare professionals to perform health screenings that could prevent firearm casualties.
Dean of the Rory Meyers College of Nursing and President-elect of the AAN Eileen Sullivan-Marx said in a press release that NYU Meyers was proud to sign the letter.
“It reaffirms the vision that we hold closely here at the college: to advance health for all people where they live, play, learn and work,” Sullivan-Marx said in the press release. “And a critical element of realizing a healthier society is making it safer for everyone.”
In her statement, she encouraged nursing students to be engaged in discussions on gun laws and gun safety.
“As we’ve seen from the brave and inspiring high schoolers out of Parkland, you are never too young to affect the kind of fundamental change you wish to see in the world,” Sullivan-Marx said.
Meyers sophomore Tiffany Yong didn’t hear about the letter until recently but said she believes it was reasonable and she supports it. Yong was surprised to see that one of the seven challenges the proposed commission would address is strengthening laws against people considered high-risk trying to purchse firearms or those who have been convicted of domestic violence or stalking to obtain guns, as she felt it was painfully obvious that this sort of regulation is necessary.
“I’m, in general, a strong supporter of gun control, and I do believe that with even the slightest increase in gun control these acts of terrorism and violence that have happened lately or will happen in the future will definitely decrease,” Yong said. “I don’t think they will stop entirely because even with stricter laws on firearms, there will still be tons of guns in circulation in this country. So I guess, for right now it’s best to just take preventative measures, and this National Commission sounds like a good start.”
Yong was also proud to know that the nursing school had signed the letter.
“I’m in the nursing field because I think that the least I can do is spread health and vitality to those who need it, and knowing that I am part of an institution that is making a difference in the betterment of our society is quite encouraging and inspiring.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, March 5 print edition.
Email Natasha Roy at [email protected]