I'm A Shrink And Gun Violence Is My Lane – Forbes

I’m a shrink and the American epidemic of gun violence is my lane too. Don’t believe me? Suicide accounts for more than half of the more than 30,000 gun deaths a year. Yet I can’t do anything about an ex-cop’s guns when he starts to spiral into yet another self-destructive depression. Or how about when I try to help a young man recover from intrusive memories of discovering his friend who had eaten his gun. And those dramatic examples are not to minimize the anxiety many parents experience daily sending their children off to school. A shrink’s gun violence lane is crowded indeed.

Whether you look at as a citizen, a researcher, a clinician, or all three like my colleague Jane Tillman did in a recent editorial, the American epidemic of gun violence is a public health emergency. Yet the NRA and Congress continue to block the clinical and research attention a public health emergency like gun violence should get. Consider a 2017 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). They found that “(c)ompared with other leading causes of death, gun violence was associated with less funding and fewer publications than predicted based on mortality rate.” Furthermore, “in relation to mortality rates, gun violence research was the least-researched cause of death and the second-least funded cause of death after falls.”

Why is this, especially because it means that people are dying unnecessarily? We need to know why and what to do about it. I’d like to suggest three reasons why nothing is being done: the Dickey Amendment, the NRA, and the numbing enormity of the gun violence epidemic.

Screen shot of the NRA’s November 7 tweet linking to article where they hide behind the ignorance they helped create.Screen capture by author

The first

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