As a physician, my loyalty is to my patients: listening to their stories, helping them choose medications, then getting them home to their families. But when that patient is a potential school shooter, my loyalties get complicated.
Dr. Garen Wintemute, an emergency medicine physician who is the director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, said that the rise in firearm deaths was a result of “a national unwillingness to take this problem seriously.”
Two policies exist today that if properly designed, widely enacted, and adequately implemented would likely have saved lives lost in past mass shootings and could potentially save many more in the future. Their benefits would extend far beyond reducing the incidence of mass shootings.
Dr. Garen J. Wintemute, champion of the Center for Violence Prevention Research Big Idea, is a leading scholar investigating the data behind shootings and the policies that have proven effective in preventing them. He’s been outspoken since Parkland about background checks, gun violence restraining ordersand federal funding for gun violence research, and he shares his ideas on Insight.
The country’s first publicly funded center devoted to the study of gun violence, the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center, was launched last summer at the UC Davis Medical Center. Now, UC Davis is pursuing a vision to unite researchers across disciplines to prevent violence in all its forms through the creation of the Center for Violence Prevention Research. Director Garen Wintemute, M.D., discusses how understanding the underlying problems that cause violence can help us prevent it.
A researcher studies the consequences of the ubiquity of guns in the U.S.
With his crisp blue suit and wire-framed spectacles, Garen Wintemute hardly looked frightening as he stepped to the podium on a spring day in 2013 to address a conference on pediatric emergency medicine in San Francisco. But his presence there made the organizers nervous.