Guns and Psychiatry at The
Queens Hospital Center NYC

By Robert B. Young, MD. Editor DRGO. October 29, 2019

I was very pleased to be asked to speak to the Department of Psychiatry last Friday at Queens Hospital Center. QHC is affiliated with Mt. Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine. It was a unique chance to give the DRGO view in the heart of anti-gun sentiment, New York City, and a welcome opportunity to preach data and reason to a roomful of progressives who had to sit and listen.

The invitation came from Dr. Neil Mukerji, a dedicated DRGO member who decided to let his colleagues know him better. We need to do more of that. As Charles Krauthammer put it: "Say what you think . . . say it honestly and bluntly"; "go . . . into a liberal lion's den. That's where you test yourself."

There's no recording to memorialize my verbal tics for posterity, but it may be worth reiterating the main points presented regarding Gun Violence Research: Public Health & Mental Health.

First came the overview:

  • 30-40,000 gunshot deaths per year in America, and 100,000 injuries.
  • 1/3 of deaths from homicide, 2/3 from suicide (and half of all suicides by firearm).
  • A smattering of accidental deaths, with extremely few now among children.
  • Dramatic reductions over the past 30 years in homicides and accidents despite equally dramatic increase of firearm ownership in America, both in homes and being carried.
  • But no lessening of hoplophobia among people uncomfortable and unfamiliar with guns.

One has to note that the text of the Second Amendment is the framework within which any interventions have to fit. And then set that against some quotes from anti-gun research and public establishment figures from the 1980s and 1990s, which was the culture that had to be confronted. .....

"Education is the key to true 'gun safety'. Four simple Rules are really all that is necessary, and children should be taught them just as they learn to swim to reduce their risk of drowning. People will encounter guns in our world, and must understand what they do and how to deal with them. There are programs for all that can teach everything from basic safety to expert marksmanship."


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