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Jonathan Metzl with Florangela Davila

Reframing the Conversation on Gun Control

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Wednesday, April 10
7:30 pm PDT
$5 – $25 Sliding Scale
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The Wyncote NW Forum
1119 8th Ave (Entrance off Seneca St.)
Seattle, 98101 United States
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Note: Town Hall events are approximately 75 minutes long.

Book cover: A bar at a 1950s-style diner is in the background. Title says "What We've Become: Living and Dying in a Country of Arms."
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What We've Become: Living and Dying in a Country of Arms

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Headshot of Jonathan Metzl and Florangela Davila

In 2018, there was a mass shooting with an AR-15 at a Waffle House. The racially charged act of violence led Dr. Jonathan M. Metzl, a Nashville-based gun policy scholar and author, to advocate for gun reform. But how can we stop gun violence in a nation that sees hundreds of mass shootings every year?

As Metzl examined the crime, he began having doubts about continuing to approach gun reform through the lens of public health that he had championed long before. The killings led him to examine the limitations of biomedical frameworks for fully diagnosing or treating the complexities of American gun politics. In his new book What We’ve Become: Living and Dying in a Country of Arms, Metzl discusses the long history of distrust of public health as well as larger forces—social, ideological, historical, racial, and political—that he argues allow mass shootings to occur on a near daily basis in America and become normalized.

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What We’ve Become looks closely at the consequences of mass shootings in this country, the meanings of safety and community, and how obstacles like political gridlock impede progress toward ending these violent crimes. Metzl considers mass shootings to be a symptom of our most unresolved national conflicts and offers his views on what can make things right.

Jonathan Metzl is the Frederick B. Rentschler II professor of sociology and psychiatry and the director of the Department of Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University. The award-winning author of Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland and other books, he hails from Kansas City, Missouri, and lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Florangela Davila has been a journalist in Seattle since 1992. For 14 years she worked at The Seattle Times, covering race and immigration. She was the managing editor and Crosscut Now host at Cascade PBS. Most recently, she led the KNKX newsroom for four years. The child of immigrants from Colombia and Peru, she was born and raised in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley and Columbia University. She’s earned numerous individual and team journalism honors in print, online and broadcast, including a national Edward R. Murrow award for The Walk Home podcast.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle.

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