About This Uniquely American Horror…

https://twitter.com/mollyploofkins/status/1655287955940859906?s=51&t=nVuexwyjz5lAYgTHGa2APw "I'm a gun lover; I have guns," he added. "I'm a former police officer. I'm a former army officer. But these M4s, MAR15s, they've got to get off the streets, or this is going to keep happening." https://twitter.com/shannonrwatts/status/1654978652680114176?s=51&t=nVuexwyjz5lAYgTHGa2APw Shannon Watts is the founder of Moms Demand Action, a nationwide organization that is working state-by-state … Continue reading About This Uniquely American Horror…

Countering the NRA’s Reign of Terror

https://twitter.com/BarnwellSmith/status/1640770359430357005?s=20 Two instances in the coverage of yesterday's horrific shooting in a small Christian elementary school in an affluent section of Nashville, Tennessee, seem instructive. First, a local reporter covering the Nashville story said on air that she, herself, was a survivor of a school shooting when she was in middle school. Then, a woman … Continue reading Countering the NRA’s Reign of Terror

Gun Violence vs Democracy

“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” are incompatible with a craven Supreme Court majority’s opening the doors to madness in 2008 by ruling in the Heller decision that the Second Amendment applies to individual gun ownership—in people’s homes. Many legal scholars question that interpretation of the Second Amendment, which ignores the reference to a … Continue reading Gun Violence vs Democracy

The President’s Fury

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GPtFM3KiYU While waiting for President Biden to make his suddenly scheduled address on gun violence last night, several somewhat sympathetic “talking heads” discussed what we could expect from his speech. They concluded he’d have to be very careful, appealing to those ten elusive Republicans whose votes are essential if we are to see anything—anything at … Continue reading The President’s Fury

Some Wisdom About Gun Policy–and Everything Else

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com “All healthy societies are ready to sacrifice the existential moment for their children’s future and for children after those. The sense of the future is behind all good policies. Unless we have it, we can give nothing either wise or decent to the world.” —quotation attributed to CP Snow … Continue reading Some Wisdom About Gun Policy–and Everything Else

This Time, Some Better News About Guns: A Reblog in Appreciation of the Biden-Harris Plans to Treat Our Public Health Epidemic

As the outlook for sensible gun safety legislation isn't positive right now, we are fortunate that the Biden-Harris administration has created a significant six-part program to reduce gun violence. Parts of it mesh well with information I came across in 2019 about evidence-based programs that were working, but lost their funding. Both the relevant aspects of the new administration plan and my earlier blog appear here.

About Those Guns…This Time, Some Better News (Part 2 of 2)

There’s broad agreement, as noted in Part 1 of this post, that gun violence (indeed, all violence) should be viewed as a public health issue.

That idea was clearly stated by Dr. Gary Slutkin, an epidemiologist trained in infectious diseases, when he returned to the US after a decade spent in Somalia, Uganda, and other countries where epidemics of such diseases as cholera, tuberculosis, and AIDs were common. In his final assignment before coming home, he was tasked to design interventions.

As he describes in a TEDMED talk, he was looking for something to do when he began hearing stories of children shooting other children. When he asked friends how America was addressing this issue, one response was through punishment. But, he said, “We who had worked in behavior know that punishment was something…that was highly overvalued” because it wasn’t a main driver of either behavior or behavior change. What’s more, it reminded him of responses to epidemics long ago—before science cast better light on issues.