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Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin is calling for stricter gun measures and federal restrictions on firearms, comparing mass shootings with guns to a public health crisis tantamount to the opioid epidemic.

In a series of tweets aimed at firearm ownership, specifically in urban areas, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin asserted the need for more state and federal regulation on firearms, declaring gun violence a "public health crisis" similar to the opioid epidemic.

Opioid overdoses accounted for 57,834 deaths in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That same year, there were 45,222 total gun deaths, including suicide (majority), murder, justified shootings, accidental shootings and law enforcement shootings.

According to the CDC, 47,286 gun deaths were reported in 2021, an increase of just under 2,000. While Opioid deaths jumped to 71,238 in the same period. 2021 also saw a number of federal laws intended to curtail the opioid epidemic.

Although no books have been banned in the United States because such a governmental entity to regulate or ban books does not exist, Woodfin is most likely referring to the practice in public schools of not allowing certain books in the curriculum or libraries. Keeping certain books out of schools has been a part of public schools since their inception in this country. The practice has become a rhetorical target in recent years due to some parents' public outrage over books that cover sexually explicit material or teaching on LGBTQ+ subjects such as gender and alternative pronoun usage.

He further called for "banning military-style and assault weapons," a questionable solution since Pew Research shows that rifles – which include the incorrectly labeled "assault weapons" ­­– account for only 3% of all gun-related deaths.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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