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One Reason for the Homicide Crisis: Young People in Pain

December 21, 2021

John A. Rich, MD, a professor in the Dornsife School of Public Health and director of the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice, was quoted in a Dec. 21 story in ESPN's "The Undefeated" about how pain and trauma contributes to gun violence.

"“The presence of that PTSD can lead to lots of places that are unhealthy,” said Rich. “It could lead you to never coming out of the house. It could lead you to smoking tons of weed all day, every day. It could lead you to drinking alcohol. It could lead you to dropping out of school. But it might also lead to you getting a weapon.”

“You hear these stories about a young person gets on the bus, steps on somebody else’s foot, suddenly somebody gets shot, right? And we’re like, ‘That’s senseless, that’s senseless violence.’ It might be. But it also may be that the person whose foot got stepped on perceived that as a life-threatening assault, as odd as that might seem to many of us who haven’t experienced PTSD. In the same way that a veteran drops to the ground when he hears somebody slam a car door.”

Read the story on The Undefeated's website.