NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Dr. Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis and champion of the Center for Violence Prevention Research Big Idea, about the shift in people's behaviors in the aftermath of mass shootings.
How do we explain and stop mass shootings like those in El Paso and Dayton? Some Americans point to guns, saying they're too common and easy to obtain, while others emphasize the mental and emotional conditions that could drive perpetrators to inflict such horror.
The number of gun-related deaths per year in America is now at its highest point in the last 30 years. But in California, in that same time frame, the numbers have fallen by nearly 30 percent—due in no small part to the relentless efforts of Dr. Garen Wintemute.
Physicians and researchers at the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program and several other organizations have developed a clinical guide to help providers get more comfortable recognizing a patient's risk of firearm injury or death.
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.