Students from Harvard Medical School, the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health gathered with members of the Longwood community on Feb. 27 to express solidarity with the victims of gun violence in Parkland, Florida, and others around the United States.
Posing with more than 100 supporters behind a banner that read “Gun Reform Is Health Care Reform, Shivangi Goel, MD ’21, co-president of the HMS/HSDM Student Council and event organizer, thanked the researchers, scientists, students, health care providers and members of the Harvard community for attending and raising their voices.
“Here we take a photo to make a small but necessary contribution to increase dialogue about the unacceptable nature of gun violence that plagues this country,” Goel said. She added that she hoped the event would inspire health care providers to become active in efforts to stop gun violence.
Goel also stated that a digital petition will be circulated to repeal the Dickey Amendment, which was passed in 1996 and bans the Centers for Disease Control from using federal funds to “advocate or promote gun control,” limiting research on gun violence.
Introducing Chana Sacks, HMS instructor in medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Goel said she “is a doctor at MGH who does research on gun violence and has been personally affected by the devastation it causes.”
Sacks, whose cousin was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, said school shootings are a “preventable problem.” She called for those gathered to stand in solidarity and make a commitment to keep the issue of gun control in the forefront of public consciousness.
“It’s up to those of us standing here who know what it’s like to take care of patients that who are suffering from the sequelae of gun injuries—it’s up to us to keep this in the news and to keep this going,” said Sacks.
Coming together for the photo was the first of several gun control activist events. According to Goel, the students plan to walk out on March 14 and will also participate in the Boston demonstration of the national “March for Our Lives” movement on March 24.