Mass shootings that involve multiple deaths understandably dominate the news when they occur. But gun violence in America is a daily reality. Every day 4 children will die, 56 people will be murdered, and 41 people will commit suicide—all with the use of a gun. These are facts; hard, tragic and true. Today, and every day after, the deaths will continue to amass.

Americans from all walks of life, in cities and towns of every size now worry about gun violence on a daily basis: at church, in a theater or club, on a walk, or even sleeping at home. We send our children off to schools where they are greeted by armed guards, metal detectors and active shooter drills. Concern about mass shootings led us to accept such measures as part of life.

Yet as tragic as mass shootings are, the number of lives lost in such incidents is but a fraction of the total number of deaths resulting from gun violence. Of the 39,000 Americans killed by guns in 2016, 456 people—or 1.1 percent of total deaths—were victims of mass shootings.

Gun violence in the U.S. is a public health crisis, resulting in the deaths of almost as many people on a yearly basis as breast cancer and almost ten times the number of people who die from cervical cancer. It is the third-leading cause of death in children. The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health estimated direct health care costs for gun violence in 2016 were $2.4 billion. The indirect costs in lost wages and paid benefits totaled $45 billion.

Finding ways to make our society safer from gun violence should be a national public health priority. Adopting common sense laws and technologies would work to lower gun deaths, just as they have with other crises such as automobile deaths and communicable diseases. What actions might we take to protect society while still assuring that law-abiding citizens can continue to own guns? Consider these:

-- Mandating the use of advanced technologies to ensure that guns do not fall into the hands of people with malevolent intent. Fingerprint technology allows only designated individuals to fire a gun. This technology on all new guns and mandatorily retrofitted to older guns would save lives. Integrating advanced technologies would eradicate accidental childhood shootings and would make gun theft a pointless crime.

-- Instituting criminal and psychiatric background checks with a waiting period. Criminals and those already deemed mentally ill should never be allowed to own a weapon.

-- Requiring registration of guns at the time of purchase and verifying gun registration before allowing purchases of ammunition.

-- Criminalizing the sale, purchase and ownership of unregistered guns and ammunition.

--  Improving access to mental health care. Texas, the state with the largest percentage of uninsured population in the country, must address timely access to crisis management and fund chronic longitudinal psychiatric care.

-- Implementing “Red Flag” laws, which remove weapons by court order and due process from those deemed acutely mentally ill or assessed to be a danger to the public or themselves. Several states have shown such laws to be successful.

-- Mandating gun safety education classes, with scheduled renewal courses.

-- Banning gun accessories such as bump stocks and large ammunition chambers, which unnecessarily endanger the public.

-- Advocating for federal funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study and help prevent gun violence.

Extreme voices on both sides of the gun control debate are almost certain to oppose these measures, claiming they do not go far enough or that they go too far. But extreme voices should not silence our civic conversation and effort to find a sane solution to the epidemic of gun related deaths in our country. Public health policy, not to mention the physical and mental well-being of our society, should not be held hostage by the loudest voices in the forum.

Martin is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the UT-Dell School of Medicine.