Support President Biden’s Federal Office of Gun Violence Prevention!

Brady has long fought for an Office of Gun Violence Prevention — and now we need to show an outpouring of support for its creation.


Virtual Event | Ending Family Fire: A Gun Suicide Prevention Conversation


Ending Family Fire: A Gun Suicide Prevention Conversation

SEPTEMBER 16, 2020 | 3 P.M. ET

In the United States, 63 people a day die by gun suicide — that’s more than firearm homicide and unintentional shootings combined. As part of the End Family Fire campaign, Brady hosted a conversation about safe storage as a means to prevent gun suicide.

Learn more about how to end family fire at and by following the End Family Fire campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.




About the Panel


Kris Brown, President at Brady, combines a lifelong background in policy, law, and grassroots activism with considerable strategic management expertise to help forge the direction of the organization’s programs and ensure the successful impact of its national and field assets. A veteran of gun violence prevention work, Ms. Brown started her career on Capitol Hill working for Rep. Jim Moran, advocating for the bill that would eventually become the groundbreaking Brady Bill requiring background checks on federally licensed gun sales. Ms. Brown has also served as the Chief Legal Officer to a publicly traded company based in Switzerland and as a lawyer practicing at the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges. She lives in Arlington, VA, with her two teenage daughters.


Eric Mankowski, Ph.D. is Professor in the Department of Psychology and Affiliate Faculty in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Portland State University. He has been doing action research with community-based programs that address gendered forms of violence for 25 years. His work has been published in numerous journals including Violence Against Women, Violence & Victims, and Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Park Service, and the National Science Foundation. He serves on the Oregon Domestic Violence Fatality Review team and co-chairs the Oregon Attorney General’s Batterer Intervention Program Advisory Committee. He served as well on the American Psychological Association’s Working Group on Health Disparities in Boys and Men and on its Expert Panel on Gun Violence Prediction and Prevention.

Debbie F. Plotnick, MSS, MLSP is the Vice President for State and Federal Advocacy at Mental Health America (MHA). Recognized as a national thought leader on a wide range of topics in behavioral health, she provides leadership for grassroots and legislative advocacy across the MHA affiliate network, and coordinates the Regional Policy Council (RPC), which focuses on state-level initiatives. Her most recent projects include working with the firearm industry to promote mental health screening and training in suicide prevention. Informing her perspective and her passion, are her own lived experience, and her dedication to mental health systems advocacy.

Marquis D. Barefield, a medically retired Army veteran, was appointed to the position of assistant national legislative director in December 2019. In his position at DAV’s National Service and Legislative Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Barefield works to support and advance a broad range of federal legislative goals and policies to assist injured veterans and their families. Barefield served in the Army from May 1991 to August 1998 as a combat engineer with Alpha Company 65th Engineer Battalion on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Barefield then reenlisted and changed military occupational specialties to military intelligence analyst and served his remaining time as a member of the 4th Infantry Division’s brigade S2 personnel and physical security office. He began his DAV career as a national service officer apprentice in Atlanta, Georgia, in January 1998. Barefield was promoted and served as the assistant supervisor of that office until May 2004. He served as a national appeals officer from May 2004 until November 2011. Barefield was the supervisor of the Washington, D.C., National Service Office from November 2011 until December 2015. Prior to joining DAV’s national legislative staff in 2019, he served as a senior national appeals officer at the Board of Veterans Appeals in Washington, D.C. Barefield is life member and the current commander of Chapter 12 in Rockville, Maryland. Barefield and his wife, Vera, reside in Frederick, Maryland, and have four children, Christopher, Marquis Jr., Jayden and Londy.

Dr. Joseph V. Sakran is a trauma surgeon, coalition builder, policy advisor, public health practitioner, and nationally recognized advocate for gun violence prevention. He is currently Director of Emergency General Surgery, Assistant Professor of Surgery, and Associate Chief of the Division of Acute Care Surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. A survivor of gun violence himself, Dr. Sakran’s interest in medicine and trauma surgery began after a stray bullet nearly killed him during his senior year of high school. He has subsequently dedicated his life to treating the most vulnerable, reducing health disparities among marginalized populations, and advancing public policy that alleviates structural violence in low-income communities.

Caitlin Thompson, Ph.D. is Vice President of Community Partnerships at Cohen Veterans Network. Dr. Thompson is responsible for establishing and maintaining critical national and local collaborations between CVN and public-private partners. A licensed clinical psychologist, she was most recently Executive Director of the VA’s Office of Suicide Prevention, leading VA’s integrated public health approach to suicide prevention. Prior to her work in the VA Suicide Prevention Office, she spent five years as the clinical care coordinator for the Veterans Crisis Line. Thompson has a BA in music from Brown University and an MEd and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia.

Back to Blog