Preventing Mass Shooting and Gun Related Trauma
Preventing Mass Shooting and Gun Related Trauma
Mass shootings evoke a wide range of feeling from frustration, anger, heartbreak, and sadness. Moreover, gun violence also leads to public conversations concerning the government’s responsibility concerning indiscriminate killings and gun control laws. For instance, in 2012, President Obama proposed an overhaul of gun law through legislation after mass shootings of 6 adults and 20 children occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School. President Obama’s proposition consisted of imposed bans on high-capacity magazines, expanded assault weapons, and universal background checks. However, President Obama’s proposal concerning preventing mass shootings failed to pass the Senate several months after the Newton mass shootings.
In the U.S., gun violence is a grim reality. According to the Pew Research center findings, 44 % of Americans have witnessed shooting in the streets and neighborhoods. Moreover, the Per Research center data indicates that 23% of Americans report instances where a gun has been utilized to threaten them and their family members. According to a 2019 Washington post-poll, 60 % of Americans fear mass shootings occurring within their community. Additionally, the U.S. crisis of gun violence is not monolithic since the shooting rate varies in character and form from state to state. Some states also report high rates of gun-related suicides compared to relatively low rates of Gun-related homicides. For instance, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Alaska rank among the top four for the highest gun-related deaths, with 18 deaths occurring every day for every hundred thousand people.
According to research, survivors of mass shootings are at a greater risk of developing mental health problems than people who have experienced trauma from natural disasters. For instance, a study conducted in Northern Illinois University (NIU) following the 2008 NIU campus shooting indicated that 12 % of the survivors reported persistent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Moreover, those affected indirectly or directly by mass shootings, especially school-going children, experience declined school performance, depression, school resistance, nightmares, and anxiety. Therefore, mass shooting in schools and public places is a societal problem that needs to be resolved to prevent emotional, physical, and psychological pain.
The recommendations for preventing mass shootings include addressing factors associated with reducing the immediate risk of gun-related violence and providing psychosocial support to indiscriminate shootings victims. Firstly, the U.S. government should establish a safety culture and appropriate gun laws to reduce the accessibility of dangerous weapons. For instance, people at risk of injuring themselves and others should have restricted access to firearms. Also, the gun industry should be held accountable to ensure adequate oversight over sales and marketing of ammunition and guns. Gun owners should also be licensed and undergo mandatory training.
Secondly, the U.S. federal government should support gun-related violence research by funding research institutions such as the center for disease and prevention to provide evidence-based research concerning gun violence. Moreover, a holistic health system approach should be utilized to address the trauma associated with gun violence. Innovation and research practice frontiers should be established to promote individuals’ and communities’ health and mental well-being. For instance, linkages between gun violence, impulsive anger, and harmful norms concerning masculinity should be studied.
At this stage, community members affected by mass shootings or gun-related violence should draft a letter to Congress members, local newspaper agencies, or school administration to convey their position concerning gun violence and suggestions for preventing it. Additionally, communities affected by school mass shootings can also organize schools debate and forums, engage in personal communication, or share information with the public by educating others. Moreover, victims of gun violence can also join or hold fundraising activities to support advocacy organizations dealing with gun violence prevention, such as Mom demand, Every town for Gun, and New town Action Alliance.
At this stage, the community should follow up with newspaper agencies or congress members as a call for action to ensure the government implements appropriate laws for preventing gun-related violence. For instance, policies regulating the access and use of firearms should be implemented. Also, community members should follow up with the government to ensure that gun owners’ mandatory licensing and training begin immediately in affected states. For instance, issuing a renewed gun license should include recurring education and a rigorous and stringent process. Additionally, community members can post educational content on their social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to educate the public on the effect of gun violence and mass shootings.