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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Taking Stock of Comstock

Thank you for the remembrance of Dr. George Comstock [“Always a Teacher,” Fall 2008]. This world has seen very few such giving persons. One could never overestimate the value of such a person. It would be difficult indeed to know how many lives his contributions have saved.

A. Thannisch, OD
Kingston, Okla.

Story Under Fire

“Cities Under Fire” [Fall 2008] was a most revealing article that clearly indicates where the Left in this country wishes to go … on a worldwide basis: Make all guns illegal. It will be as successful as the war on drugs.

H. Hall
via email

Reading the “Cities Under Fire” cover story, I was pleased to discover that the public health approach to “the gun problem” has undergone a much-needed maturation and a shift towards evidence-based policy. For too long, the public health community has relied on advocacy-generated “facts” and emotional anecdotes to drive firearm-related policy. The initiatives of Michael Bloomberg and the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition represent the new direction that public health must take in order to effectively address illegal gun-trafficking and violence. Such responsible use of evidence is critical for making future policy decisions, particularly when public funding will be even more limited.

Emily L. Evans, MPH ’09, MA
Pittsburgh, Pa.

In epidemiological terms, it is fair to argue that among certain segments of society, the ready availability of firearms may contribute further to an already significant risk more intrinsically linked to class and poverty. However, casting firearms as indiscriminate pollution is an oversimplification that risks detracting from a meaningful and productive public policy debate.

Remington Nevin, MD, MPH ’04
Baltimore, Md.

Rooting for “Grassroots”

I am a Nigerian presently in the MPH program. I cannot tell you how this article [“Grassroots Revolution,” Fall 2008] was an eye-opener for me to what is really happening in my home country. The extent of the problem of maternal and child mortality is one I have never envisaged, partly because I lived in the south all my life. This [Center for Communications Program] project is so powerful and will definitely have a great impact. I know this article will encourage a lot of Nigerians to head back home and pitch in to improve the depressing state of the health system in our country. It’s so sad [but] thanks for bringing it to our awareness.

Yewande Alade, MPH ’09
Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

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