Gun debate need not be all or nothing.

Position:YOUR LIFE

'The battle over firearms is too often presented as an all-or-nothing fight with no middle ground, but there may be more shared interests between gun advocates and public health professionals than commonly thought," maintains Catherine Cubbin, associate professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Texas, Austin.

"We could learn a lot from public health's success with reducing death and injury from cars. Since 1950, the motor vehicle death rate has dropped by more than half. This was due to measures that didn't require human intervention and made the safest human behavior also the easiest, such as roadway and vehicle design changes, speed limits, and safety belt laws. The same can be done to reduce death and injury from firearms, given the political will to do so."

For those who see guns as a problem, there is no easy solution to the widespread prevalence of them in our country. It is not necessarily a question of restricting all guns to all people, but how to make them safer and less accessible to children and those who would use them for ill purposes, explains Cubbin.

"Public health professionals are not trying to take away Americans' right to own a gun. We just want evidence-based gun control measures to reduce the harm. Gun advocates may be fearful of heading down a 'slippery slope' with the adoption of any gun control measure, but they may also...

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