How can we have open-minded talks about gun safety? It’s vital considering 40% of Americans have a gun at home. This series unpacks real-life scenarios around guns and suicide, dementia, children, health care workers, and more. Through stories and interviews, we offer practical and non-judgmental ways to talk about gun safety in tough situations. With the right tools, you can have conversations that meet people where they are. This isn’t a show about taking sides — it’s about saving lives.
Sometimes conversations about safe storage break down. Someone you care about has ready access to firearms, but they are behaving in ways that you know make them unsafe. Extreme Risk Protection Orders were created to meet that need. We hear from Dorothy Paugh, who was instrumental in getting Extreme Risk Protection Orders - or Red Flag laws - passed in her home state of Maryland. We also talk to Dr Shannon Frattaroli about the effectiveness of these laws in preventing gun violence. Finally, we talk with Montgomery County Maryland Sheriff Darren Popkin about how these laws really work in the community. Transcript of this episode can be found here.
Four in ten American households own guns. Yet many couples may never discuss safe storage until there is a crisis situation. In this episode, we discuss how to talk about guns, safety and risk with those who are the closest and most important people in our lives: our spouses and partners. We hear from Julie Still, whose conversation about safe storage with her husband may have saved his life. We’ll also hear from Dr. Leanne Knobloch, who offers guidance for spouses who want to talk about firearm safety but aren't sure how to do it. Transcript of this episode can be found here.
Each year thousands of ordinary Americans have a chance to say "Yes" to saving the life of a colleague, neighbor, or acquaintance. How? Simply by having a conversation about firearm safety. In this episode, we explore how trusted members of a community act as gatekeepers in suicide prevention. We hear from Reverend Seth Still, whose experience with his own guns in a dark time changed the conversations with the people he serves. We’ll also hear from Dr. Rajeev Ramchand, an epidemiologist who discusses how gatekeepers can make a difference. Transcript of this episode can be found here.
Anything to help a friend… Those aren’t just words. In this episode we talk about the importance of peer conversations about firearm safety as a way to prevent suicide. We hear from Jay Zimmerman, a veteran whose approach to conversations about safe storage changed after his best friend died by suicide. We also talk to Dr Adam Walsh, a suicide prevention researcher who shares why peer conversations might be some of the most effective ways to improve gun safety and prevent suicide. Transcript of this episode can be found here.
Should gun safety be part of medical training? Most health care providers talk to patients about quitting smoking, but not firearm safety. Both are major causes of preventable death. We hear from Dr. Mary Campagnolo, a physician who wonders if a conversation about guns and safety would have prevented the suicide of a patient. We also talk to Dr Joseph Simonetti, a primary care physician, about ways for health care providers to have constructive conversations with patients about gun safety. Transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcript of this episode can be found here.
How do you talk to other parents about guns? We offer tips on how to have this vital conversation — one many parents overlook. From 2015-2020, there were at least 2100 unintentional shootings by children, 800 of them fatal. All of these incidents were preventable. Hear from District Attorney Matthew Weintraub as he shares the heart-wrenching story of 2-year-old Benjamin Smith who accidentally shot himself with a gun left on a nightstand. We also talk to Dr. Alison Tothy about safe gun practices in our own homes and in the homes of others. The takeaway is ASK: Asking Saves Kids. Transcript of this episode can be found here.
What do you say to a loved one when you’re worried about their access to guns? What if you’re worried they may attempt suicide? Prevention starts with having a conversation about how to put barriers and time between a suicidal impulse and a fatal act. In this episode, we’ll talk with David McDaniel whose son tragically died by firearm suicide. We’ll also talk with Dr. Mike Anestis, a suicide and gun safety expert, who offers guidance on talking about alternative storage in times of crisis. Transcript of this episode can be found here.
There are proven ways to navigate dementia, aging and gun ownership. Hear the story of Karen Meushaw, who dealt firsthand with aging parents, dementia and firearms. We also get expert advice from Dr. Emmy Betz, an ER physician and firearm safety researcher, who reveals what we know about older adults and gun safety. This episode will inform and empower families and friends with practical advice for tough conversations and ideas on how to plan ahead. Transcript of this episode can be found here.
Back to podcasts
The opinions and assertions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences or the Department of Defense.
The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or policies of The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. Mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.