Observations of an Overthinker

Run. Hide. Fight.

Run. Hide. Fight.
This is the advice experts give to survive an active shooter event.
If you can get out, run. If you can’t get out safely, hide. As a last resort; if your life is at risk, fight.

While I believe this advice is helpful, apply it to past environmental or highway safety epidemics then let me know where you stand. It is ridiculous to think in 2021 we are stamping fortune cookie formulas to mass shootings. Fifty+ years ago we established national independent protection boards to improve public safety. It is time to do that with guns. Long overdue, actually.

03.16.21: “8 Dead in Atlanta Spa Shootings”
03.22.21: “Boulder Shooting Leaves 10 Dead”

Last Tuesday and today. Six days apart.

Here are a few action plans I found with minimal research.

Gun safety: Reduce the imminent risk of lethality through sensible gun laws and a culture of safety.
1. Sensible gun laws: Reduce easy access to dangerous weapons.
2. Establish a culture of gun safety.

  • Reduce firearm access to youth and individuals who are at risk of harming themselves or others.
  • Hold the gun industry accountable and ensure there is adequate oversight over the marketing and sales of guns and ammunition.
  • Engage responsible gun dealers and owners in solutions.
  • Insist on mandatory training and licensing for owners.
  • Require safe and secure gun storage.

Underlying contributors to gun violence: systematically reduce risks and increase resilience in individuals, families, and communities.
3. Public health solutions: Recognize gun violence as a critical and preventable public health problem.
4. Comprehensive solutions: Support community planning and implementation of comprehensive community safety plans that include prevention and intervention.
5. Trauma, connection, and services: Expand access to high quality, culturally competent, coordinated, social, emotional, and mental health supports and address the impact of trauma.

Prevention Infrastructure: ensure effectiveness and sustainability of efforts
6. Support gun violence research: Ensure that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others have the resources to study this issue and provide science-based guidance.
7. Health system: Establish a comprehensive health system in which violence prevention is a health system responsibility and imperative

New Frontiers: continue to learn, innovate, and increase impact through research and practice
8. Community healing: Prevent community trauma.
9. Mental health and wellbeing: Invest in communities to promote resilience and mental health and wellbeing.
10. Support healthy norms about masculinity: Explore the pathways between gun violence and harmful norms that have been about maintaining power and privilege.
11. Impulsive anger: Explore the linkages between anger and gun violence.
12. Economic development: Reduce concentrated disadvantage and invest in employment opportunities.
13. Law enforcement violence: Establish accountability for sworn officers and private security.
14. Technology: Advance gun safety and self-defense technology.

Finally, deconstructing the political debate of mental health vs gun laws in one paragraph.

“There’s no evidence that I know of that shows that people in the U.S. have more mental health issues, especially violent mental health issues. Compared to other high-income countries we are just average in terms of non-gun crime and non-gun violence. The elephant in the room, the thing that makes us stand out among the 29 other high-income countries, is our guns and our weak gun laws. As a result, we have many more gun-related problems than any other high-income country. Every other developed country has shown us the way to vastly reduce our problems. Our guns, and our permissive gun laws, are what make us different than France, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, New Zealand, you name it.” – David Hemenway, Professor of Health Policy at Harvard

We can do better. A lot better. Is now a good time?

© Tanzer Words