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10 strategies proposed to stop shootings in America, and how likely they are to work

Published by Business Insider on Thu, 21 Mar 2019

The US makes up less than 5% of the worlds population but has 31% of the world's mass shooters.Lawmakers and interest groups are often at odds on policies to curb mass shootings, suggesting strategies varying from increased mental health evaluations to arming teachers.On February 14, the nation is mourning the first anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.The US makes up less than 5% of the worlds population but has 31% of the world's mass shooters.Though mass shootings comprise a small amount of the country's overall gun violence, they have become a target for politicians and interest groups who seek to prevent the multiple deaths of people often targeted at random.Here are 10 of the most talked-about strategies that have been floated to stop mass shootings, and how likely they are to work.SEE ALSO:New Zealand announces ban on military style semi-automatic and assault rifles less than a week after Christchurch massacreAssault weapons banWould it work' Likely.Though some experts doubt the results of assault weapon bans, many see it as an appropriate first step to keeping the highly lethal weapons beyond reach for good and bad actors alike.The last federal ban on assault weapons was passed by Congress in 1994 to combat mass shootings, which fell significantly over the 10 years the law was in place.Though lawmakers didn't specifically define an "assault weapon," they made 18 weapons illegal to manufacture, which did not affect the assault firearms already owned by Americans.After the law expired, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania expressed in a federally funded report that the ban's overall effect was unimpressive."Should it be renewed, the ban's effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement," said the report, which the Department of Justice commissioned."Bans on assault weapons can both reduce the mayhem from and perhaps even reduce the frequency of these lethal crimes," Professor John J. Donohue III, a lead researcher on mass shootings at Stanford University said. "We see from diaries of the mass shooters that they see the AR-15 or some such as the vindication of their manhood and power and a vehicle for addressing their perceived grievances."Fixing the "gun culture that steeps troubled and ineffectual men in this notion of redemption through violence and then makes the most deadly weaponry available to them" would have a direct effect on the rates of mass shootings, Donohue said.High-capacity magazine banWould it work' Likely.Banning high-capacity magazines seems likely to significantly decrease the number of fatalities a shooter could inflict in a single attack, and increase chances for bystanders to intervene when the shooter is caught off guard, according to experts."Nearly every mass shooting illustrates that large capacity magazines can increase the death toll and that forcing a shooter to reload more frequently can provide opportunities for counter-attack by those around," Donohue said.Donohue added: "Accordingly, a ban on high capacity magazines is absolutely essential if one wants to reduce the loss of life from active shooter scenarios, and bans on assault weapons can both reduce the mayhem from and perhaps even reduce the frequency of these lethal crimes."Funding CDC research into gun violenceWould it work' It depends.Organizations including American Public Health Association and the American Medical Association have begun characterizing gun violence as a public-health problem to emphasize the research's critical role in developing data on gun ownership and violence that could be used to inform policies that would cut down on gun violence and mass shootings.In 1996, congressional Republicans passed the Dickey amendment to pressure the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention away from conducting public health research on gun violence.Though lawmakers have since clarified it was not a total ban on federal funding for gun-related research, the US spends less money researching gun violence than it does on almost any other leading cause of death.That's because of "incredibly poor leadership decisions" from lawmakers, Dr. Stephen Markowiak, a general surgery research fellow and mass shootings researcher at the University of Toledo said."The reality is, we could solve this problem if we wanted to," he said. "We have these excellent resources available to our country that have a decades-old history of solving public-health crises."See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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