Amy Swearer a legal policy analyst at the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation wrote a nice article for The Daily Signal on the real factors that lead to mass shootings.
If we want to honor the memories of those who did not come home last year from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, we must address the actual factors that lead to school shootings.
No, most commonly proposed gun control measures won’t save lives. But that doesn’t mean there are no available options with which to effectively prevent future tragedies.
- Focus on Mental Health
The majority of the gunmen in mass public shootings exhibit clear signs of mental illness prior to their attacks, and school shooters are rarely any different.
Regrettably, almost none of these individuals were receiving mental health treatment when they committed their violent acts.
America’s schools and communities desperately need better mental health services and more options for effective intervention prior to a person suffering a full-blown mental health crisis.
- Take Threats Seriously
One of the most tragic aspects of Parkland was that, as with many other school shootings, it could have and should have been easily prevented if the relevant officials had taken seriously the many warning signs that these disturbed students exhibited.
Several different agencies and school officials received numerous tips that the Parkland shooter posed a heightened risk of violence, but they did nothing to meaningfully intervene.
Early intervention can save lives.
According to our own research, there have been more thwarted school shootings since 2010 than there have been school shootings in which two or more people other than the shooter were killed.
Each of these thwarted school shootings had two things in common. First, someone—usually the would-be shooter’s peers or family members—recognized serious red flags and reported them to law enforcement or school officials. Second, the officials who received that information took prompt and appropriate action to intervene.
Schools and law enforcement agencies must learn from Parkland and ensure that threats to student safety are fully investigated and that intervention occurs when appropriate.
- Faster Armed Responses
Most active-shooter incidents occur in a relatively short period of time, and most casualties occur in just a matter of minutes.
Further, when law enforcement or other armed civilians confront the active shooter, the shooter’s knowledge of imminent armed confrontation usually prompts his surrender or suicide.
Unfortunately, the average response time for law enforcement is far too long, even for calls regarding active shooters.
Even then, the armed response is only as effective as the willingness of those armed responders to actually confront the shooter.
Lives were lost at Parkland because first responders initially failed to enter the building and engage the gunman, while lives were saved by the heroic actions of armed school resources officers just months later in Santa Fe, Texas.
Every second cut from the time it takes to engage in armed confrontation with a school shooter is vital to saving lives.
Individual schools and school districts must be free to make independent decisions regarding how best to accomplish this quick armed response, according to their risk assessments and available resources.
It’s time to learn from Parkland and admit that gun control is the wrong solution to the wrong problem.
The sooner we get the correct diagnosis, the sooner we can start using effective policies to prevent very real tragedies.
This is a very important argument that is made by Mrs. Swearer. Although Mass Shootings are not as frequent as the left likes to point out it doesn’t mean that they don’t showcase a problem in society. Since 2010 America has averaged one school shooting each year. This is nowhere near the amount the left has claimed to have happened but it still represents one too many each year.
If the steps above had been taken we would have a lot more beautiful children still alive today.
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