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Gun Violence: A Huge Problem, But Some Small Steps Toward a Solution

Bexar Arms

This week on Oregon On The Record, we talked about gun violence in our community and nation and small ways we can make ourselves safer.

Obviously, the statistics are stark: As of May 1, at least 13,959 people have died from gun violence in the U.S. this year, 491 were teens and 85 were children.

There’s also been an average of about 66 deaths by suicide per day in 2023.

Here In Oregon: the latest numbers we have from 2022 state that 193 people died from guns including seven mass shootings in our state, and that in Oregon 80% of all gun deaths are from suicide.

Indeed, it is a crisis in every imaginable way. But within our show, we learned about small, but important ways we can help ourselves remain safe and also ways we can remain sane and even hopeful in the face of gun violence.

  • We heard from Dr. Margaret Pattison, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend who told us about what happens to the body when it is impacted by bullets.
  • We talked to McKay Sohlberg who studies traumatic brain injuries at the U of O, but it’s her work to help people prevent and overcome the trauma of suicide by gun that is a big part of her efforts these days.
  • We conversed with Professor Michelle Barnhart of OSU and Professor Paul Slovic of the U of O who respectively educated us about gun industry marketing and the psychology of risk and how we can take control over our perception of gun violence.
  • And we heard from Sergeant Justin Myers of Springfield PD who provides tips and counsel around safe gun storage and a safe mindset about owning guns.

While it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer scale of gun violence, our guests provided some hope about a future that could become less terrorizing if we all work together.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or a crisis, please reach out immediately to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Michael Dunne is the host of KLCC's Oregon Rainmakers podcast. Do you have a suggestion for an Oregon Rainmaker's guest or topic? Email Michael at mdunne@klcc.org.