Research News

Metzl assumes post in gun violence prevention organization

Dr. Jonathan Metzl, Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology Director, Center for Medicine, Health, and Society Professor of Psychiatry

Vanderbilt University’s Jonathan Metzl has been named director of research of The Safe Tennessee Project, a volunteer-based organization devoted to reducing gun violence in the state.

“Dr. Metzl, a psychiatrist who has studied, researched and written about gun violence, and who happens to be based here in Nashville, was one of the first people we spoke to about joining our advisory board,” said Beth Joslin Roth, founder and policy director for The Safe Tennessee Project. “Over the past months, he has been a trusted adviser, sharing his knowledge and invaluable research experience.

“Having him join us as research director is an incredible honor and will only increase our credibility as a dedicated gun violence prevention organization.”

The appointment was announced Sept. 21.

Metzl is the Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Medicine, Health and Society; the director of Vanderbilt’s Center for Medicine, Health and Society; and professor of psychiatry. He has written and spoken extensively on gun violence, race and mental health.

“I support the Constitutional right for people to own guns,” Metzl said. “At the same time, I’ve become increasingly concerned that certain pro-gun policies put people in the United States at ever-greater risk, rather than protecting them.

“As a physician, I’ve seen firsthand the ways that gun violence shatters lives and communities. And as a scholar who studies gun violence, I’ve come to understand that much of the pain we endure might well be prevented with more sensible gun policies combined with social investments in the underlying causes of violence.”

The Safe Tennessee Project is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to addressing gun violence in Tennessee through community outreach, raising awareness and policy advocacy.