Let us all address issue of gun violence


I own several handguns, rifles. I support hunting, fishing, target shooting and firearm ownership. Due to my commission, I must qualify yearly and look forward to it.

In my profession, I often investigate incidents, accidents and near misses. It involves gathering, analyzing information, identifying root causes and developing “risk reduction procedures.” Effective incident investigation reaches goals of eliminating or ensuring as possible incidents do not re-occur.

Let’s apply the process to frequent mass shootings. Root cause can be identified as follows: An individual who had possession of weapon capable of causing serious injury acted in a manner resulting in harm, injury or death.

Few can argue that assessment. The other process of effective investigation is where the argument begins: the development and implementation of “Risk Reduction Procedure.”

With gun violence, many say the answer is simply better enforcement of current laws. No argument here. But most or all identified perpetrators at the time of the incident were law-abiding, legal gun owners; there was no law to enforce.

Next, we must look at other underlying root causes. In gun violence, the tool was the weapon — handgun or rifle. Some argue the gun (tool) wasn’t the problem, but rather “how” it was used.

That brings us to “who had that tool,” so we address “access.” That brings us to “gun control.”

Access and ownership control is nothing new. We apply it to cigarettes, alcohol, driving, etc. It’s an accepted process needing to be addressed to ensure tools, devices, products aren’t used in manners to cause serious harm or death.

Laws exist, like the 1993 Brady Bill, but far too many loopholes must be closed, like gun shows, private sales. One in five gun sales today is conducted without background checks. Ohio has no law requiring background checks for gun sales involving non-licensed dealers. Enforcing current gun control laws would have little impact on reduction or elimination of the incident being investigated.

We now should agree one root cause was access, ease of uncontrolled access to the tool involved. This is where risk reduction must begin.

Solution to ongoing mass shooting incidents is better, improved and enhanced “gun control laws.” Not eliminating possession for self-defense, target shooting or hunting, but ensuring gun owners are qualified, and demonstrate ownership is not intended for improper use.

Will these enhanced gun control procedures eliminate all gun violence, no? In my career I take the position that all incidents and accidents cannot be eliminated based on one aspect, human behavior and decisions. But risk reduction procedures can reduce incident reoccurrence.

In mass shootings, I believe a better system in controlling weapon access must be considered.

God Bless America.




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