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Danbury Hospital Emergency Room Dr. William Begg attended a forum held recently in Hartford on Gun Safety and Public Health.  The Newtown resident was the lead physician in the ER the day of the shooting at Sandy Hook School.  As EMS/Medical Director, he was collaborating with EMS on scene to decide who would be transported to the hospital and who wouldn't.  Begg and his team tried unsuccessfully to save two children, and were able to save one educator. 

Over the last 7 years he has spoken out on the issue, including before the U.S Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Begg says there is an assumption that health care providers can convey safety information, but there is no adequate screening tool.  He notes there have even been proposed gag orders on health care providers, which are meant to intimidate.  Begg wants Connecticut lawmakers to propose an act protecting health care providers who chose to educate their patients as part of a wellness or prevention program on public health-related topics such as texting and driving, seat belts and gun safety. 

Begg says he wants to work with the younger generation to advance the issue.  He says medical school students, and even high schoolers, are going to be the ones to be the change.  He noted that there are over 40,000 deaths each year from gun violence, many of them suicides.

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Todd Schnitt
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