Money Power Health with Nason Maani podcast

Episode 6: The firearm industry, power and the law with Jon Lowy

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The firearm industry is, without question, a commercial determinant of health. It manufactures and markets harmful products, and companies actively compete with each other on features like round count, ease of reloading, and lethality. More civilian-owned firearms, of more types, with more accessories like scopes or red dot sights, more bullets and magazines, in more locations, is good for business, but as clearly born out by the evidence, is bad for health. In recent years gun sales in the US have increased dramatically, and the prospect of further gun control looks dimmer, as a result of the US supreme courts ruling on the right to concealed carry.

You might think of this as a uniquely American issue, but firearms are a global problem, and firearm harm certainly isn’t restricted to the US alone, but the US does loom large, both in terms of the harm to American citizens, but also as a source for guns that then end up in other countries, trafficked illegally, for example to Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Canada.

However, even in public debates in the US, the main figures that dominate the debate are political ones, including the NRA. The industry itself has received somewhat less attention as a barrier to progress, or a facilitator of firearm-related harm, unlike for example the the tobacco industry.

To talk through the role of the gun industry, the nature of firearm-related harm, and some of the challenges to reducing it, we are joined by Jonathan Lowy. He is the Founder and President of Global Action on Gun Violence, and before that was the chief council and vice president legal for the Brady Campaign. Jon has been an advocate and litigator on these issues for some 25 years.

If you want to find out more about Global Action on Gun Violence, their website is here.

You can read more about the lawsuit between the Mexican government and US gun manufacturers here.

If you want to find out more about the firearm industry as a commercial determinant of health, we wrote a commentary in the American Journal of Public Health here.

Led by Dr Zain Hussein, some empiric research on how the firearm industry frames firearm harms and their solutions can be found here.

The music for this podcast was composed and recorded by Daniel Maani. You can find out more about his music here:

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