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HealthConnections: What Are the Demographics of Gun Violence?


Talking about gun violence in the U.S. is difficult. Personal feelings run high, and the environment for conversation degrades quickly.

This edition of HealthConnections advocates no political position. It does not argue for more or fewer firearms restrictions. Instead, this conversation backs a step up to tell us what we know about the human toll of gun violence in the United States and in Tennessee. It is predominantly carried out by men. Men are also typically the victims. Most firearms incidents happen at home. Mass shootings grab the headlines, but make up a small portion of gun incidents each year. And shooters often have a history of domestic violence.

"The portrait we try to paint...of gun violence victims, is not a single portrait," UT's Dr. Carole Myers says. "Therefore, there's not a single solution. This is something that maybe we could come together as Americans, and make sure we understand the problem, then...find solutions without making it a political issue."

Note: This conversation was recorded on Friday, November 3, two days before a mass shooting at a Texas church. The topic of this conversation was selected well in advance of that tragedy.