illustration of two text blocks representing a conversation

Letters: Spring 2022

Readers respond to our reporting on strategies to prevent gun violence and other stories from our Fall/Winter 2021 issue.

The current issue on gun violence is very powerful. Many of my colleagues are asking to “borrow” my copy. I would like to receive the magazine by email in addition to receiving the print copy so that I can share it with interested colleagues. —Theresa Yeo, PhD, MPH

Ed. Note: If you’re not on our email list for the online magazine and want to be, send a note to

Gun violence is one of our most malicious endemic health problems. Please consider finding some way to do recurrent reporting in this area, perhaps measuring and highlighting [gun] ownership and injury in bellwether communities, including Baltimore itself. —Tom Inui

These stories are heart-wrenching (“Echoes,” first-person stories of gun violence survivors). These events would not have occurred, or maybe many less would have, if our social and family structures were not in the final stages of decay. I wish [researchers at Johns Hopkins] would study and highlight the societal problems which have caused our country to devolve to the point where someone thinks the way to solve a problem is to use a weapon ... any weapon. —Leticia Jackson

Isn't it true that there is more gun violence because there are more people, making it more of a numerical issue than a social issue? There has always been gun violence in America. Daniel Webster’s statement (in “A Brief History of Guns in the U.S.”) that 40 years ago it would have been shocking if someone brought a gun to a party implies a sense of a more peaceful America that never existed. Ever since colonists arrived, there has been some sort of gun violence, in some part of this country. —Floyd Blackman III

Got #melanin? Read this! [“The Overlooked Cancer”] From @JohnsHopkinsSPH, so scientifically sound. #melanoma #science #news —@MightyCasey, via Twitter

I am an assistant professor of dermatology and venereology at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. My two years’ clinical experience clearly showed me the huge knowledge gap regarding ALM [acral lentiginous melanoma], which is the most common type of melanoma in our country. I have encountered a lot of ALM patients in our outpatient department. I was very happy when I read your article [“The Overlooked Cancer”] because I feel the same way—that ALM is a neglected skin cancer. —Tizita Yosef Kidane

While waiting for lab results for suspected acral melanoma I’ve been devouring everything I can [on the topic]. A friend retelling the story of how Bob Marley died from melanoma on his foot—and how he seemed doubtful that Black people can even get it—made me take a look at the mole I’ve had on my foot in a different light. I am naturally proactive about my health and would like to raise awareness for this often overlooked cancer for better survival rates. —Heidi Neipris Wexler

Young people are less likely to die [from COVID-19] but they can still get #LongCovid and be sick for months (“Young People and Long Covid”). Economics of two vaccinations vs. cost of care or lost work or study says vaccinate! So does concern for well-being of young people and health care workers. —@JennyKayNZ, via Twitter

“The Rise of Invasive Fungi” is a must-read for those who think COVID is not a big deal. —@111publishing, via Twitter