PREVENTING SCHOOL SHOOTINGS : A PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACH TO GUN VIOLENCE
Moghaddam, Fathali M.
Smith, Paul J.
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Gun violence in America must be addressed at the highest levels of society. Newtown, Aurora, and Virginia Tech were attacks on the very fabric of America. School shootings represent attacks on our nations future. A public health approach to gun violence focuses on prevention. Public safety professionals, educators and community leaders are squandering opportunities to prevent horrific acts of extreme violence. Preparedness is derived by planning, which is critical to mobilizing resources when needed. Rational public policy can work. Sensible gun legislation, which is accessible through a public health approach to gun violence, neither marginalizes nor stigmatizes any one group. University administrators must fully engage the entire arsenal of resources available to confront this pernicious threat. The academic community can create powerful networks for research, collaboration and information sharing. These collective learning environments are investments in the knowledge economy. In order for the police to remain relevant, they must actively engage the community they serve by developing the operational art necessary to cultivate knowledge, relationships and expertise. Police departments must emphasize strategies that improve performance. Police officers must understand the mission and meaning of To Protect and Serve and the consequences of public safety, which often comes at their personal peril. Gun violence in America is a public health epidemic and preventing it requires a collective responsibility.
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