By Alicia Gallagher
There were 372 mass shootings last year in the United States alone, meaning that gun violence has become more than an everyday occurrence in this country.
This statistic is based on the Mass Shooting Tracker’s definition of a mass shooting, recognized as, “an incident in which at least four people are killed or wounded.” This number does not include those who have committed suicide or were murdered by someone using a gun. According to thetrace.org, general death by gun saw more than 50,000 violent incidents in 2015.
Discussions these days tend to surround three important topics: the recent election, gas prices, and gun violence. In today’s media, one of these prominent topics needs to be discussed as soon as humanly possible. Gun violence awareness has increased dramatically within the last few years. While people are starting to recognize this rapid increase in recent years, it has done nothing to deter these acts of violence. News outlets are finding it difficult to keep updated with new and developing gun incidents. It begs the question, what is it going to take to stop these heinous acts?
“Knowledge is a powerful skill,” an FSU Campus Police officer states in response to this particular type of violence. Campus Police offers important information in regard to an active shooter situation. When talking with FSU police, they emphasized the need to participate in at least one of the training sessions they offer on campus. The tips and information provided at the sessions help to create a step-by-step list of what can be done if there was ever someone with a gun on campus. Three ways to deal with an active shooter situation are, in order:
– Get out as fast as possible
– Hide if you can’t vacate the situation safely
– Attempt to take out the shooter as a last resort
A few things you may not have known or thought about are: silence your cell phone and if it is necessary, act against the shooter. When taking out the shooter you must not hesitate, but commit to your actions.
Much like active shooter training, there are many ways to educate yourself about gun violence and safety as well. The Brady Campaign, an organization that promotes safety with guns and raises awareness about gun violence in the U.S., states, “This isn’t a gun problem, it’s a responsibility problem,” when talking about the 100,000 victims of gun violence every year. Their goal is to halve the number of gun-related deaths by the year 2025. The founders of this campaign created the Brady Background Checks that are used in today’s government.
From mass shootings to accidental firings, gun violence is something to be aware of and to understand. A community with knowledge of gun safety will decrease the amount of accidental shooting and children getting a hold of guns throughout the country. Awareness is one step closer to solving the spike in mass shootings and gun violence around the United States.