Gun Violence: Thinking out of the box to take on a public health epidemic

The United States is facing a worsening gun violence epidemic, with firearms now surpassing car accidents as the leading cause of death for children under 18. This alarming trend is in stark contrast to peer countries, where gun-related deaths have decreased significantly.

One concerning aspect of this crisis is the glamorization of guns, particularly on social media, where influencers known as “gun bunnies” promote firearms as part of a sexy and aspirational lifestyle, targeting vulnerable youth.

Violence in the U.S. has become disturbingly normalized, from political incidents like the Capitol invasion to random attacks on city streets. The surge in gun sales also raises concerns about public safety.

To address this crisis, survivors, activists, doctors, and lawyers are calling for responsible gun ownership, legislative changes, mental health support, and altering media narratives to combat this deeply entrenched issue.

Journalist Phoebe Fronista interviewed Nicole Hockley, Dr. Cornelia Griggs, David Hogg who participated in the SNF Nostos 2023 panel, “The normalization of violence: The impact of gun violence on children and adolescents,” as well as Judge Madeline Singas and Professor Marisol Orhuella who participated in the SNF Nostos 2023 panel, “Mental Health and the Justice System: When mental health enters the courtroom”. She also spoke over a Zoom call with Dr. Peter Masiakos, a pediatric trauma surgeon and the co-director of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Gun Violence Prevention, Aurora Vasquez, the Sandy Hook officer in charge of state policy, and Eric Gordon, a professor of civic media and the director of the Engagement Lab at Emerson College in Boston.

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