Social Medicine Seminar and Reading Group Schedule



“Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms: Changing the Terms of the Debate”

Jonathan M. Metzl, MD, PhD

Professor of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University

Four assumptions frequently arise in the aftermath of mass shootings in the United States: (1) that mental illness causes gun violence, (2) that psychiatric diagnosis can predict gun crime, (3) that shootings represent the deranged acts of mentally ill loners, and (4) that effective gun control laws will not prevent such incidents.  Professor Metzl will discuss how these assumptions about gun violence are incorrectly linked to stereotypes of mental illness and race in the United States.  These issues become obscured when mass shootings are framed as representative of all gun crime, and when “mentally ill” ceases to be a medical designation and becomes encoded as violent threat.

Tuesday, 21st February 2017

12:15 – 1:15 pm

UCLA Gonda Building, 1357 Gonda