How Do We Finally Prevent Mass Shootings?

Everyone probably thought it when news came of the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks this week; “not again”.  

Or maybe some thought something else, such as “it’s the way it is these days.”  You probably heard some commentators and even some in law enforcement say mass shootings have become the "new normal" in America.

Sadly, the numbers show evidence of that.  A report in the USA Today points out that there have been 307 mass shootings, defined as four or more people killed, in the U.S in the last 311 days. 

This coming year will mark the 35th year after the mass shooting in San Diego that was the worst at the time.  In July of 1984, a man walked into a McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro and killed 21 people and injured 19 others before he was shot dead by a San Diego police sniper.

Having reported on it as it happened that day, none of us who were there then…could have imagined that the San Ysidro Massacre, as it was called, would be followed by hundreds of mass shootings over the next three and a half decades in other cities across the country.

And each time, after every mass shooting, the debate begins as to what to do to prevent them.  And each time, little has been done. As San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore told KOGO News.  There isn’t just one answer to the question of how to prevent mass shootings.

But all of us, including those in public office, in law enforcement, mental health, education, religious organizations, and everyone as voters have the responsibility to finally find those answers.

Thousand Oaks mass shooting  Getty Images

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