Emergency Room Physician Dedicates Life To Researching Gun Violence

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As the hunt for a motive continues in Las Vegas, UC Davis Dr. Garen Wintemute is searching for his own clues.

An emergency room physician, so affected by the shooting victims he’s treated, Wintemute decided to dedicate his life to the study of gun violence.

And after spending $1 million of his own dollars to analyze the causes of gun violence, the state is now matching that to help him figure out what can be done to prevent it.

“We still need to do something about weapons that have large ammunition that can fire bullets in a short period of time,” he said.

Those high-capacity weapons, gun owners say, aren’t the problem.

“People are the problem. We’re already heavily gun-controlled as it is,” said Just Guns owner Josh Deaser.

California recently banned high-capacity magazines that are legally available in other states.

But will stricter gun legislation make a difference? Not in the short run, according to Wintemute.

“I suspect there are millions of those magazines in California, tens of millions of them around the United States. An absence of a program to get them all back, they’re still going to be out there. But what bans can do is hopefully curtail supply in the future,” he said.

Britain has some of the toughest gun laws in the world. Many believe that’s why the UK hasn’t had a large-scale shooting in two decades.

The government banned the possession of all handguns, semi-automatic and pump-action weapons, self-loading rifles, and short shotguns with magazines after 16 children and a teacher were killed in Scotland in 1996. British Prime Minister Theresa May hopes America will take action too.

“I think to us here in the United Kingdom, the idea that somebody could have an arsenal of weapons in their hotel room is inconceivable,” said May.

Gun violence research on a federal level has faced a stiff challenge for more than two decades. A rider in the 1996 federal budget stops the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from spending money on studies that “may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

More from Lemor Abrams
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