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About Me

Thank you for visiting my website JonathanMetzl.com where you will find a compilation of my talking, writing, and teaching about topics including Mental Illness and Gun Violence, with a particular focus on Gender and Race. I am a Professor and Director of the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University, a Psychiatrist, and the Research Director of the Safe Tennessee Project, a non-partisan, volunteer-based organization that is concerned with gun-related injuries and fatalities in America and in Tennessee.

Being a gun violence expert, a professor, and a psychiatrist is a unique combination that allows me to speak and write about gun violence in America, and in particular to address stereotypes that link guns with race or mental illness, or that blame mental illness for mass shootings and other gun crimes. I’ve been honored to address these issues in my writings as well as in the media, including frequent appearances on MSNBC’s MHP Show and in talks around the country and around the world.

My focus on stereotypes of race and mental illness surrounding gun violence emerged from some of my earlier media appearances, where I found myself answering the same question again and again:

Q: Is mental illness the root cause of gun crime in the U.S.?

A: Certainly, mental health histories are important for mass shooters, but on an aggregate level, gun violence is statistically unrelated to mental illness, and persons diagnosed with mental illness are far more frequently the victims than the perpetrators of gun crime.

I care deeply about reducing gun violence and eliminating the stigma of mental illness. It is my hope that my work will contribute to efforts for well-intentioned people on all sides of the gun debate to push for reasonable middle ground, common sense solutions that lessen rates of injury and death, while at the same time respecting the Second Amendment. I thus advocate for closing gun-show loopholes, requiring background checks on all gun purchases, gun-safety training, and outlawing celebratory gunfire that can harm children, among other positions.

Please have a look around and stay as long as you like. If you have any questions or would like to invite me to speak at an event, you can contact me here.

Biography

VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY:

Director, Center for Medicine, Health, and Society

Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology, Medicine, Health and Society, and Psychiatry

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN:

Associate Professor of Women’s Studies, Psychiatry, & Center for Afro-American & African Studies

Director, Program in Culture, Health, & Medicine;

Fellow, Cross-Cultural Psychiatry

Ph.D., Program in American Culture

STANFORD UNIVERSITY:

Medical Internship, Psychiatry Residency

M.A., American Poetry

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI, KANSAS CITY

B.A, English Literature, B.A, Biology, M.D., Medicine