We are joining the long list of supporters for common-sense gun control outlined in Measure 114 on Oregon’s November election ballot. Our support comes from a place of caring for children and families and knowing that background checks, education and gun permits are an important part of reducing gun violence.
“This issue touches us personally,” says Dr. Pilar Bradshaw, a pediatrician and owner of Eugene Pediatric Associates. “Tragically, my practice has lost multiple children and parents to suicide by firearms. We know these families personally, and we’ve seen the devastating aftermath.”
It’s important to remember, she says, that children and teens are naturally impulsive because the frontal and prefrontal cortexes of the brain—where important executive functions like judgment and decision-making happen—are not fully developed. Additionally, adults and children alike are dealing with anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges more than ever before.
Oregon has the 11th-highest rate of gun suicides and gun suicide attempts in the U.S. An average of 440 people in Oregon die by gun suicides and 44 are wounded by gun suicide attempts annually, accounting for 81% of all firearm deaths in Oregon.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among those 10-24 years old in Oregon, and suicide rates in Oregon have been higher than U.S. rates over the past 10 years.
“Access to guns without adequate safety barriers can have tragic consequences. My hope is that by passing these common-sense gun laws, children and families will be safer,” she says.
We support Measure 114 because it:
- Requires a completed background check before any firearm sale. Oregon law currently allows a gun seller to move forward with the sale of a firearm if the background check is not completed within three days.
- Necessitates a permit to purchase a firearm. The permit process involves hands-on training for the proper use and handling of firearms, as well as education on secure storage and the law. Requiring this training would reduce impulse purchases of guns by those in a mental health crisis.
- Bans the future manufacturing and sale of gun magazines over 10 rounds to civilians. There is a lot of data about the high death toll and injuries associated with large capacity magazines. It is also important to note that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife already limits magazine capacity for rifle hunters to five rounds, so this limit would not affect Oregon hunters.
Across Oregon, there are mental health specialists, pediatricians, law enforcement, survivors of gun violence, hunters and gun owners who support this measure. Here are some of the many organizations that are also showing their support:
Oregon Pediatric Society
Oregon Medical Association
Oregon Academy of Family Physicians
Oregon Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians
Oregon Council of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Oregon Psychiatric Physicians Association
Oregon Nurses Association
Oregon Parent Teacher Association
Learn more about the measure here: https://www.voteyeson114.org/