Are Mass Shootings A Disaster
by Cole Edmonson, DNP, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC, FAAN
Mass Shooting Events (MSE) are a public health crisis in America. “We are on track in this country to have more mass shootings this year than in 2017 (Gunviolence.org, 2018). That is clearly unacceptable. Although, it’s not about the numbers, it’s about people, and people are not statistics. The numbers speak to the ever-increasing plague of gun violence on individuals, families, communities, and our country. Thirty-four mass shootings (Gunviolence.org) in the first month-and-a-half alone of 2018”. Lack of effective gun control measures, mental health resources in this country along with extreme political views, extreme religious views, racism, hate are a deadly combination. Of course, these are not the only factors in the epidemic we are facing. If we can get upstream in this epidemic, perhaps we will need less reactive measures or even be able to prevent mass shootings.
- 61,507 Active Shooter Incidents
- 15,592 Deaths
- 3,996 Children / Teens killed or injured
- 19 days in the year without a mass shooting.
Mass shootings represent a clear disaster event for public servants, the health care system and the nursing profession among many others. “Schnur makes several recommendations as a nurse researcher in her article ‘Is there a cure for gun violence’ for the nursing profession ultimately assisting in the prevention of mass shooting. https://www.nursingcenter.com/ncblog/january-2016/is-there-a-cure-for-gun-violence
- Increase access to mental health programs for individuals, families, and students from elementary school through college:
- Include a gun safety assessment as part of routine health screenings for all patients:4
- Several states continue to propose legislation to ban practitioners from documenting gun ownership in the patient’s record.
- Develop and implement Evidence-based Hospital Violence Intervention Programs focusing on:
- Improve Community engagement/outreach and education programs with initiatives targeting:
- Gather more data, conduct research and educate families on how to best protect themselves and their families from gun injuries”
“We can’t solve a wicked problem with naïve eclecticism. An epidemic of this proportion will take all sectors, public, private, non-profit and governmental, working together to solve this crisis. We, as nurses, some 3.9 million strong in the U.S., can be a powerful voice. Those with greater expertise will propose possible solutions including universal background checks, raising age limits, making bump stocks illegal, restricting certain types of guns from the general population, mandatory waiting periods, database reporting and many more.” We have the knowledge and wisdom to work from local, state, and national levels, from grassroots advocacy to legislative action. Prevention and mitigation should be our first priority along with preparedness, readiness, response, and recovery.
I can continue to applaud the bravery of those advocating for change, especially our youth – as small passionate groups of people can make a change, that can grow into a tsunami of moral virtue to do what is right!
Edmonson, Cole (2018) TONE Newsletter. Retrieved from http://www.naylornetwork.com/tne-nwl/articles/index-v2.aspaid=495235&issueID=58241
Gun Violence Archive (2018). Retrieved from http://gunviolencearchive.org/
Kodjak, A. (2018).What if we treated gun violence like a public health crisis. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/11/15/564384012/what-if-we-treated-gun-violence-like-a-public-health-crisis
Schnur, M. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.nursingcenter.com/ncblog/january-2016/is-there-a-cure-for-gun-violence