Psychiatric Views on the Daily News - Episode 133

Here Is a Role Model for DIGS, Dads Into Gun Safety

This father in Oregon is leading by example when it comes to gun safety.

PSYCHIATRIC VIEWS ON THE DAILY NEWS

In yesterday’s column, I described a possible public health model for preventing gun violence based on the successful MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. This new model would be based on fathers and called DIGS, Dads Into Gun Safety.

I called for dads to become role models and guides for boys and men, especially alienated ones, to avoid acquiring firearms in order to obtain real or imagined power that is likely to cause more harm than good.

What I did not know at the time is that there already was a new role model out there yesterday that I could have used. I will do so now. I saw Alisyn Camerota of CNN interview Ben Beers.

Soon after the Uvalde tragedy, Ben Beers, a former Marine and father of 2, surrendered his guns, an AR-15 and handgun, to police in Hillsboro, Oregon, and confirmed by them, in order to have them destroyed. The AR-15 is the military grade lethal firearm used by many mass shooters.

He said it was the responsible thing to do, and that he was not worried about protecting his family without them. If nothing else, he hoped it would be symbolic.

He conveyed this on TikTok and it went viral. He reported that most of the feedback was quite positive, though some were negative, like “you are not a man.”

At least based on the DIGS model, he is a new man worthy of emulation. Have you heard of others?

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. He is an advocate for mental health issues related to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism for a better world. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times™.