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NEWS

LSU Health Shreveport Pediatrician Says Gun Violence Is "An Epidemic"

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GUN VIOLENCE IN THE CITY- Yesterday’s City Council Meeting in Shreveport, Louisiana had a number of people speak during the open comments period about gun violence, highlighting accidental shootings that involved children and the recent death of a teenager who was shot by a stray bullet during a rolling gun battle that took place in an upscale historic neighborhood. A nationally renowned Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. John Vanchiere of LSU-Health Shreveport spoke from the perspective of public health and safety.

“Why am I here to talk about gun violence? Because it’s an epidemic just like the pandemic we’ve been through,” Vanchiere said. “From my perspective, dealing with the pandemic like covid is much easier than the problem we’re dealing with, with gun violence.”

A group of medical students stood with Vanchiere as he spoke, many who have seen a steady stream of gunshot victims over the past few years.

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Dr. John Vanchiere, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist was joined by LSU-Health Shreveport medical students and nurses at the Shreveport city council meeting to speak about gun violence.

“We see these people when they’re on death’s doorstep. When they come in with gunshot wounds to all parts of their body, when they come in dying, we comfort them. Our nurses are so tired,” Vanchiere explained.

Vanchiere reminded the Council that 5 years ago- Louisiana ranked number one for the most number of pediatric gun-related deaths and that one solution would be for gun owners to keep guns out of the hands of children and teenagers. After Vanchiere spoke, Councilman Grayson Boucher said better awareness for gun safety and responsible gun ownership is needed to prevent accidental shootings. But he also said rising gun violence would affect the city’s economic prospects.

“What Fortune 500 company is going to want to come to Shreveport and bring their employees and children whenever we’re having children shot and killed?” Boucher asked.

There have been 22 homicides in Shreveport so far this year, averaging about one killing a week. Those who spoke emphasized the problem of gun violence is a city-wide problem and solutions will rely on everyone’s resolve.