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National COSH Statement on Tragedy in Orlando:“Gun Violence is an American epidemic”

Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Press Contacts:

Roger Kerson, 734.645.0535, [email protected]

San Diego — “Our hearts are breaking today for the victims, family members, and survivors of the tragic, senseless mass shooting at Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida,” said Jessica Martinez, acting executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH).

So far, two of those killed have been identified as workers who were at their jobs at Pulse at the time of the tragedy: Kimberly Morris, age 37, a bouncer who had recently moved to Orlando to help her mother and grandmother; and Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32, who was “at work” when she was killed, according to a Facebook post from her aunt.

“In workplaces and in other settings, gun violence is an American epidemic,” said Martinez. “These tragedies are preventable. Anything less than urgent and immediate action is an ongoing insult to victims and their families.”

National COSH, said Martinez, supports the call by 141 medical organizations for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to undertake “rigorous scientific research” on gun violence. President Obama included specific funding for research on gun violence in his proposed federal budget in 2012 and 2013, but a Republican-led majority in Congress rejected both requests.

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National COSH links the efforts of local worker health and safety coalitions in communities across the United States, advocating for elimination of preventable hazards in the workplace. For more information, please visit Follow us at National Council for Occupational Safety and Health on Facebook, and @NationalCOSH on Twitter.