7 Ways to Reduce Gun Violence in Our Communities

Gun violence is a complex problem that a single solution won’t magically solve. But just because the situation is complicated doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. Perhaps the first step is to believe that taking action and generating change is possible.

These seven ways to reduce gun violence are a few examples of what can and needs to be done so we can make our communities safer.

1. Banning assault weapons

One effective way to reduce gun violence would be to ban all assault weapons once and for all. Assault weapons are weapons of war, and citizens should not be allowed to own and use them.

Semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity magazines are commonly used in mass shootings. They make these tragedies much more deadly than when guns that don’t accept detachable magazines are used.

To reduce gun violence, banning assault weapons would be a common-sense solution.

2. Implementing gun detection technology in public buildings

To proactively reduce gun violence in public venues and buildings, it’s possible to implement gun detection technology.

Such technology is powered by Artificial Intelligence, video recognition, and real-time analytics capabilities, and it can detect concealed firearms. The venue’s security staff can then be warned of any threat to the security of patrons so they can react appropriately.

Gun detection technology is a non-invasive alternative to metal detectors and pat-downs. Keeping schools, casinos, arenas, workplaces, and other public buildings safe from gun violence can be a simple solution.

The best part is that it won’t disrupt the day of the people entering these buildings. Only suspects carrying firearms will be apprehended.

3. Promoting the safe storage of firearms

There are gun owners who know how to safely and responsibly store their firearms. Others don’t or don’t understand why this is so important.

But many crimes are committed with stolen guns. And many kids who shoot themselves or shoot someone else do so with a weapon they found in their home or a relative’s home.

Safely storing firearms is simple, and it can save lives. We can effectively reduce gun violence by promoting safe storage and educating firearm owners about why this matters.

4. Disarming known domestic abusers

Passing and enforcing laws to disarm all domestic abusers is another thing we can do to reduce gun violence.

Many women are being murdered by a spouse or a partner using a gun. Victims of domestic violence, the majority of women, are frequently intimidated and threatened with firearms, and we can’t allow this situation to persist.

Domestic abusers and people subject to a restraining order should be forced to surrender their firearms. They should also be prohibited from buying and owning guns in the future.

5. Funding community groups that help prevent violence

Community groups are already in place to help prevent violence and support individuals at risk of being affected by gun violence. These groups need more financial support to reach more people and have a more positive impact.

People living in poverty, people of colour and marginalized groups are often the ones to be the most affected by gun violence. It’s important to let these communities know that gun violence will be met with consequences and offer them better options and opportunities so they will not turn to violence in the first place.

On top of funding, community groups that aim to address the root causes of violence also need mentors, a workforce, and local engagement.

6. Educating the public about warning signs

Educating the public about the possible warning signs of gun violence is another way to help prevent it. We need to raise awareness about potential red flags, what to do when we notice them, and which resources are there to offer support and guidance.

Substance use, mental illness, dementia, and self-harm are all examples of signs that someone could be at risk of perpetrating gun violence. Other possible red flags are committing domestic violence and making online threats.

7. Converting vacant lots into beautiful green spaces

Finally, cleaning, greening, and converting vacant lots into beautiful public spaces is a proven way to improve mental well-being and reduce gun violence.

When people feel engaged with nature, they are less likely to experience depression, anxiety, and loneliness. This can all begin with improving the appearance of vacant lots in urban spaces to turn them into parks and gardens.

As you can see, different approaches can be taken to help reduce gun violence. It will not happen overnight, but if we keep combining these approaches, we can create positive change and save lives.

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