Oct. 2, 2017 – Jonathan Metzl, director of Center for Medicine, Health and Society, psychiatrist and sociologist Metzl is an expert on gun violence and mental illness. He has research  that specifically addresses issues surrounding mental illness, mass shootings and treatment.

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In the article,“Mental Illness, Mass Shootings and the Politics of American Firearms,” Metzl analyzed data and literature linking guns and mental illness over the past 40 years.

Here are some immediate thoughts from Jonathan Metzl on the Las Vegas shooting:

  • This is a tragedy of immense proportion who’s full-scale will only become known as more information Comes out
  • This awful incident highlights the tragic and nonsensical nature of mass shootings – they often afflict pain and death in places were people feel the most safe such as movie theaters, schools, or now concerts.
  • I’m sure we will learn a great deal as things progress about the potential reasons for this seemingly senseless crime. As we do, it is vital for us as a nation to come together to find common sense solutions to problems of gun violence in America.
  • We have a second amendment that respects people’s rights to own and carry firearms. At the same time mass shootings highlight the need for oversight about matters ranging from semi automatic rifles to background checks.
  • In the coming week Congress will vote on legislation to legalize silencers. This seems like an incredibly bad idea since silencers make it only more difficult to locate the source of gunfire in mass shootings
  • Another vital piece of information needs to be known as whether this was an automatic or semi automatic rifle and how the shooter obtained his weaponry. At the same time, we have made it far too easy for people to amass arsenals of highly illegal firearms.
  • There’s much more we need to find out about the shooter and his motives, but gun violence is a societal problem in addition to an individual one. As Americans we need to come together to try to address it.