Newswise — Since we have yet another horrific mass shooting in the U.S., I have an excellent expert on gun violence, mass shootings and gun control who is available for interviews. Jonathan Metzl, a Vanderbilt psychiatrist, sociologist and director of the Center for Medicine, Health and Society.

In his research “Mental Illness, Mass Shootings and the Politics of American Firearms,” published in the American Journal of Public Health, Metzl analyzed data and literature linking guns and mental illness over the past 40 years.

Metzl says mass shootings like the one that happened at a church in Texas or Las Vegas are unpredictable, but gun violence is highly preventable. His research finds that people are much more likely to be the victim of gun violence by someone who is close to them.

“We should set our gun policies on the everyday shootings, not just on sensational shootings, because everyday gun death is often predictable and preventable,” says Metzl.

Dr. Metzl also says there have been 34 mass shooting (four or more people shot in the same scene) just since the Law Vegas mass shooting.

Signs to predict gun violence

The factors that often lead to gun violence are:

  • Drug and alcohol use
  • A history of violence
  • Access to firearms
  • Personal relationship stress

“People are far more likely to be shot by relatives, friends, enemies or acquaintances than they are by random strangers, terrorists or lone violent psychopaths,” Metzl says. “We need to keep this in mind when we address gun crime.

  • Metzl has done lots of live television and radio and we have a 24/7 TV and radio studio. The studio is free for Vanderbilt experts, other than reserving fiber time.