"If the United States were to get serious about preventing firearms-related injuries and deaths, thousands of lives could be saved each year," the authors wrote. "We can wait no longer to protect public health."
Sauaia said she wants her paper to inform today's debate and inspire other projects.
"We do know a lot more about how someone died of a heart attack than just how many people were injured by guns," Sauaia said. "The data is out there; we just need the funding to be able to do this kind of work, and then hopefully we can find ways to address this major public health problem."