Another mass shooting and the question must be asked, “Why? And how?” Why do individuals commit such heinous acts, and how can we prevent them from occurring in the future?
The most straightforward answer is to ban the tool(s) used in such a massacre, which happens to be a gun. But since guns have been around for nearly a century and only relatively recently used for such evil, I don’t believe this is an effective solution.
What has changed recently and just as significantly, what can be done to prevent this evil in the future? I believe there are solutions out there that would prevent the massacres that occurred in Dayton & El Paso. Here are a few of my ideas:
PHARMACEUTICALS. It appears that many of these shooters have been prescribed mental health medications that have been more harmful than helpful. Unfortunately, prescribers pay too little time and attention monitoring whether the individual prescribed the medication is taking it according to the plan, regularly and consistently, and whether it is effective or not. Professional counseling should also be a part of the treatment plan. Individuals prescribed such medicines should continue to see professional counseling help throughout the years to ensure they don’t become a threat to themselves or others.
SOCIAL MEDIA. Individuals who commit such evil acts sometimes leave signs on social media that they are predisposed to such evil. Social media sites should be monitored by professionals who are trained to see such signs and help individuals before they can become a real threat to themselves and society at large.
MEDIA. Mass shootings draw out the media like no other story, but unfortunately, they also draw out those who will do anything to become part of a story. We cannot stop the press from reporting such horrendous events, but we should work with them to stop naming and publicizing the shooter. Publicizing the shooter makes them folk heroes in some twisted circles, which can lead to more copycat shootings. Media should focus on the victims’ stories, not the shooter.
END GUN-FREE ZONES. Let it be posted in large print that all large areas where people might congregate could be guarded by individuals and/or armed drones who have the ability and will defend the innocent if necessary. Seconds matter in active shooter situation, and well-trained, responsible gun owner can save lives when they occur.
GUN SHOPS. Individuals who work and own such shops should be trained and educated on characteristics that fit a shooter’s profile and be required to alert authorities of such individuals that they might encounter.
WORK WITH THE NRA & SIMILAR GROUPS. These organization understand that unless this evil is stopped in society the rights of good citizens to protect their loved ones will be threatened as well by governmental over-reach. The NRA can play a bigger role in sponsoring more responsible gun ownership including helping other responsible owners spot individuals who might be a harm to themselves or others and notify the proper authorities should this occur.
What I’ve written above only scratches the surface of some ideas of actions that could help prevent mass shootings, but truthfully, additional soul searching needs to occur immediately to prevent this horror from continuing to happen in the future.
We can either come together to provide realistic solutions to mass shootings based on our culture and way of life or continue to watch innocent people die while we blame the other side. Let’s act to implement the items that really can make a change NOW. Let’s pull together and push our government and business leaders to take these realistic actions and do more.