Editorial: How can we curb mass shootings? What can be done about gun violence?
The only way to bring gun violence in this nation under control is to establish a national red flag clearing house/call center that coordinates tips from the public (NO anonymity…your name is registered too to prevent stupid angry neighbor or ex-husband style "tips") that through a well considered checklist then evaluates the urgency, validity and need for a type of action.. Arrest, visit, or simple notation. These tips which are currently overwhelming local law enforcement would be then fed to them in a more well edited format. Those that come in now to local agencies would be routed to the state offiice of the national call center. There IS an FBI tips hotline in existence now. Do you know that number? Did you know it existed? For the record it is 1-800-225-5324.
You can see more about it here https://tips.fbi.gov
But it is a hodgepodge of national agencies you need to wade through to report a wide variety of crimes. And often, those agencies do not communicate.
The vast majority of shooters, "Leak" information ahead of their violent action. They let people know. The people who become aware of a genuine potential threat need a NATIONAL TIP PHONE NUMBER to call. If we truly want to end mass shootings we need to know who the potential shooters are and STOP them before they do it.
Controlling access to guns.. it won't do it. Many of them get guns from people in their family. Improving mental health counseling. It won't do it because those people won't be seeking it unless caught and forced first. Changing video games won’t do it. Studies show repeatedly that they have virtually no impact on real world violence. Gun buy back programs won’t do it since we have so many guns now they would only reduce it by a small percentage.
ONLY by stopping them through information exchange FIRST can we bring this national carnage under control. This issue has to be addressed with real leadership and an aggressive effort. No more thoughts and prayers or school walkouts, or candlelight vigils. Action is required.
This is not to say that a better background check law is not needed. It is. This is not to say that severely restricting access to assault style weapons and their ammo is the right step. It is (though the last ban on them had little effect). Also worth noting is that assault style weapons result in far more catastrophic injuries since the bullets tumble and are far more lethal. So ammunition should be severely taxed.
Gun rights advocates are correct in saying it’s not the guns that kill people. But research consistently shows that more guns are not the answer. The number of people who stopped armed gunmen in mass shootings is a tiny percentage.
In a study reaching back to 1966 on mass shootings the Los Angeles Times noted the commonalities among mass shooters. The majority of them experienced childhood trauma. Most of them reached a crisis point in their lives. They tend to “leak” or let people know they are planning violent acts and most of them sought validation for their motives by seeing other shooters in the news.
The National Gun Violence Archive notes that as of August 6, 2019 we had seen more than 33,000 acts of gun violence. 253 of them were mass shootings. That’s in 216 days. This is a national tragedy that requires a national response.
A national gun violence prevention center such as this could employ roughly 4000 people. We currently have 95,000 people working in 911 call centers nationally each earning around $20 per hour (in some cases some of these could be assigned this specific area) They are understaffed today but might be added to with a higher wage. Assuming such a call center.. per state (calls automatically routed based on incoming call area codes) staffed with 80 people per state you’d have a national Gun Violence Prevention system with 4000 employees. Paying that many people an average of $25 an hour would cost 192 million dollars annually. Just to put this in perspective the National Forest Service has more than 34,000 employees with a budget of nearly $6 billion.
This kind of center would be promoted on television, online, on radio, and on billboards, busses and elsewhere getting it out there into the national consciousness as the best route for "See something, Say Something." Today, where do they call if they suspect someone might do something violent next week? 911? Their local sheriff? The school principal?
That promotional campaign might cost $25 million annually bringing the annual budet to around $220 million. That’s actually not much money. And for those who say pass no gun legislation whatsoever. this would still help since it addresses the shooters not the weapons. Such a call center would also help prevent any other acts of violence that gun advocates say would happen even if we took all guns away. As an important side note the CDC says that suicides account for 60 percent of the country’s gun deaths.
If we can prevent shooting deaths through suicide, acts of criminality, mass shootings and more isn’t it worth it?
The term assault weapon refers primarily to semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns that are able to accept detachable magazines and possess one or more other features. Some jurisdictions define revolving cylinder shotguns as assault weapons. Weapons whose ammunition and muzzle velocity are such that their only intended purpose, the death of a human being is made more certain. Clear? This idea is NOT a so-called Red Flag law and has nothing to do with 1st Amendment rights (the right of free speech) or the 2nd Amendment (the right to carry arms). Red Flag laws COULD theoretically impinge on the 4th Amendment (the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures) IF in fact the guns were found as a result of an illegal search without a warrant. But your guesswork and weak assertions here are not applicable. This idea is to give law enforcement better information about potential violent offenders. The idea of it "degrading" is simply fear mongering. You would build into the system a set of performance reviews on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis to protect against precisely that. The problems today are that 1. People don't really know where to call and are not mobilized to do so and 2. Individual jurisdictions are not equipped to handle or judge the potential severity of a threat of violence and don't share it with anyone who is so equipped. Your mention of the failure to control immigration reveals that you are simply ill informed. 33,000 plus incidents of gun violence in America in 8 months time have literally nothing to do with immigration. It's the number of guns, the ease of access to them, the fact that most gun violence is a male suicide and that quite often people are aware of the potential for a violent event but don't know what to do. 249 mass shootings in this nation in 216 days leads the world. No other nation is higher. Information is key. No one is calling for the removal of guns from law abiding people. But conversely arming every person is not the answer either. Even arming every tenth person is foolish. More guns, more ammo = more violent deaths. It's logic even a spaniel could follow. I agree with you Safe Zones are foolish. I agree with you that trying to control all guns is a mistake and will never take place. But keeping guns out of the hands of people who SAY THEY WANT TO KILL OTHERS and do so repeatedly, in person, on social media or elsewhere is simple, common sense. To the degree you cannot grasp this is the same degree to which you lack it.
You are paranoid, delusional and one of the main reasons a system like this is required. The blood of future victims will be on your hands. You simply don't grasp the truth. The central problem is that information NOW being collected is not being shared. Call the "constable"? Right. That's not happening. That's the problem. Even when the El Paso shooter's mother called the police they did not share it, did not raise alarm levels, did not let anyone else know that he was a threat. This is not some insane fascist concept of hell. This is good people trying to stop bad people. No guns are being taken away in fact it has nothing to do with guns. It's a system of heightened awareness, that's all. It must be dark in your cave.
One more thing Mr. Pratt
You clearly believe the 2nd Amendment give you the right to own a gun.