As a part of ongoing discussions surrounding the rise of gun violence and the need for a cease fire, Dr Kendra Outler, MD from MyUzima sat down with two expert physicians to discuss the psychological, physical, racial, and sociological implications the of rise of gun violence has on individuals and communities.
Panel members included Dr. Rahn Kennedy Bailey, MD, a forensic psychiatrist and Chairman of LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans Department of Psychiatry, and Dr. Elliot Jessie, MD, MBA, FACS, Professor of Trauma Surgery, and the Director of the Intensive Care Unit at Walter Reed, National Military Medical Center, Bethesda. This panel discussion is part of a two part series. You can listen to the first part here.
There is a gun problem in this country, and unfortunately, as Dr Elliot Jessie points out, “Gun violence is not new in the country; it’s always been an issue.” Just because gun violence has always been prevalent does not mean it should go unexamined especially as incidences of gun violence continue to rise. “We have to figure out what’s the actual cause. Like, why are people doing things that they shouldn’t be doing? Or, you know, why are these inner cities fighting over a corner that they don’t own anyway and shooting each other up because of it? Like, what is the root cause of that?” Dr Jessie believes, “Outside of the mass shootings and those things that happen, I think the things that I see are the sort of inner-city conflicts, and things like that. I think it’s a socio-economic thing. We have to fix the socioeconomic opportunities first.”
According to Dr. Rahn Kennedy Bailey, “We just have to get away from this mindset that everybody has to have a gun or you have gun protection. Data does not support that having guns very often means you are more protective. In fact, many groups, especially Black women, the data will argue, are more at risk of dying due to gun violence if they live in a home every day with a gun would use—that same gun bought to protect themselves. People don’t like to hear that data. That’s what empirical data actually says.”
To learn more about the rise of gun violence, how it affects communities, and how the COVID-19 pandemic as affected mass shootings, listen to the full panel interview.