What March 18 should commemorate

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Gun making is one of the most lucrative industries in the world. Even a peace-loving country like India has a significant weapon making trade.  India celebrates March 18 as the ordnance Factories day to commemorate our 200 year old weapon making industry.

Guns and weapons have an important impact on the health of people. The reckless use of firearms harm human beings and animals . There are at least 15 ICD codes to denote various gunshot injuries- accidental or self-inflicted or in various locations.

Gunshot wounds cause  internal injuries and even death, predictably.  As per the CDC’s 2020 statistics, firearm injury related deaths were to the tune of 13.7/100,000 population. India in 2019 had the third highest firearm related deaths in the world. This is not something that India should be proud of.

Gunshot wounds and deaths are a preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in the world.   In pandemic “stay at home ” times, statistics show that more people purchased firearms. Weapon possession and mental health issueslike suicide go hand in hand.   Having a weapon is significantly associated with using it in suicides, homicides, assaults, and unintentional deaths. In India, single use, handmade, unlicensed firearms caused 85% of murders in 2008.

Awareness campaigns that deal with the triggers for civilian possession of firearms, and the short fuses that lead to their discharge are the need of the hour.  Limit and regulate firearm ownership.  Forensic pathologists and psychiatrists need to join hands with social workers and policy makers to create significant change in this arena. Families  put in close contact during COVID lockdown times  should interact with one another rather than with social media, video games, or distressing news watching. Introduce and encourage  exercises,  within the confines of home for all age groups.

Finally, March 18 should not celebrate our weapon making industry but remember those who lost their lives to a preventable cause with actions to prevent such deaths and disabilities in the future.

 

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