GunViolence in the US
Gunviolence in the US is higher than in any part of the world and thisis majorly associated with the loopholes in gun laws. According tostatistics about 31,000 deaths and 78,000 fatalities were linked togun violence in 2014 and 2015. Style (2014) depicts that gun violencein the US is immensely increasing owing to the continued growth ofthe internet and access to violent movies and games especially amongthe youths. In 2011 for example, a report indicated on average 82people die from gun violence in America on a daily basis (Campieet. al, 2013).Law enforcement personnel have not been spared the wrath of theraging crimes in the country as depicted by the FBI. According to theFBI about 48% of the gun violence victims are security personnel(Alphers et. al, 2013). Although the security agencies argue thatthere has been a decline in gun violence over the past two years, theUS still posts a high rate of gun violence as compared to any othercountry in the world.
Benefitsof Collaborative Initiatives
Lossof life and infliction of injuries due to improper use of guns isattributed to laxity and improper policy implementation andenforcement by the leaders in the country. People with criminalbackgrounds on most occasions are the perpetrators of these crimesand yet they continue to have access to guns. The Obamaadministration tried to initiate gun laws in the country however,the efforts did not work or were simply quenched because the businessis backed up by the rich and powerful in the society. The implicationis that any leader trying to impose restrictions on gun accessibilityrisks losing the coveted political influence and this explains whymost leaders tend to shy away from the issue. Despite the worryingstatistics on gun violence, it is imperative to note that progresshas been made when it comes to reduction of gun violence. Differentagencies have been deployed into the field to ensure that they tamethe vice. Some of the core agencies at the forefront include theCenter Of Disease Control, Office of the Juvenile Services, And theBureau of Justice Assistance.
Communitybased initiative also constitute some of the essential approaches inthe fight against gun violence. An example of an initiative adoptedis the establishment of the SSYI. The Massachusetts Safe andSuccessful Youth Initiative is mandated to handle any youth relatedissues and more specifically violence among youths aged between 14and 24 years (Campieet. al, 2013). Further, in 2009, the Smart Policing Initiative (SPI)was established in a bid to seek effective and reliable solutions togun violence. Collaborative initiatives have yielded positive resultsover the past six years although more needs to be done. Communityinvolvement in gun violence reduction strategies is an essential stepembraced by the agencies involved. The idea of partnering with thecommunity is a brilliant move to unearth the source of the scourgethat has devoured tens of thousands of lives in the US over the pastdecade. The community understands and recognizes the perpetrators ofthe crime, thus, its involvement is integral in winning the fight.
Involvementof professional staff in the eradication of the vice suffices as aviable option in ensuring that there is constant technical support.This leads to improvement in efficiency in service delivery, save ontime in terms of training new personnel, and reduction of operationcosts. In Baltimore the comprehensive community program laid down keycommunity strategies that are significant to gun violence reduction.The strategies are aligned to inhibit drug trade and other criminalactivities associated with gun violence. Similarly, the comprehensivecommunity program fosters accountability, development of communitycapacity and maximization of stakeholder involvement in decisionmaking processes. Education denotes another initiative undertaken bythe government in a bid to thwart gun violence. Providing high-riskyouth intervention program such the Safehavenat Buffallo Weed and Seed Initiative is a crucial step in theprevention of gun violence. The key activities of the Safehavenprogram are recreational programming, firearm prevention training,job skills trainings, tutoring, and adult literacy programs. All thisactivities are essential in engaging the youths in valuable activitywith end goal being prevention of gun violence.
Youthengagement enhance income generation via legal activities, thus,preventing gun violence in the streets (Huesmann,2010).Moreover, such initiatives ensure minimal youth idleness andinvolvement in drug abuse which may lead to violence in the society.The idea behind Safehaven wasthe utilization of neglected facilities such as the King Urban Lifecenter to enhance societal growth and development. Targeting specificgun violence hotpots has created a huge impact in minimizing gunviolence. Not all places in US are gun prone areas henceconcentration on the hotspots would spur progress. SPI and BJAdeveloped geographical analysis on key crime areas. The two agenciespointed out that in places like Boston and Las Vegas gun violence waslinked to the disadvantaged and predominantly minority neighborhoodsand this explains why there was immense focus on such areas (Bragaet. al, 2014). The creation of Safe Street Teams (SSTs) and MobileSaturation Teams at Boston and Las Vegas respectively ensuredconstant patrols in the high risk areas. In the long run the crimerates in these areas reduced by half.
LessEssential Partners to the Initiative
Bragaet al., (2014) points out that several governmental agencies havebeen developed to help eradicate gun violence but little is done instreamlining these organizations. Partners like Project Lead is doingwork possibly ATC could handle. National Tracing Center (NTC) andIntegrated Ballistic Identification Centre are performing the samejob. There is no doubt that redundancies exists whereby differentorganizations tend to perform the same tasks. The implication of highredundancies in the government is that resources are wasted and thejob may not be done as required owing to duplication of roles (Kalish& Kimmel, 2010).Other collaborative initiatives developed under the AttorneyGeneral’s office had strain on the minimal funds available theseinitiatives either under-performed or handled commonresponsibilities. Collaborative Anti-Gang Initiative (CAGI) forinstance, never delivered the expected result due to lack of data.Gang crime data was in some areas unavailable or small sample unableto be used for meaningful decisions
Involvementof the Congress in formulation of key legislation should be hastenedand enhanced to seal the loopholes in gun laws. The Attorney Generalought to provide clear guidance on enhancing security and backgroundchecks on people registered as gun holders. People should takeresponsibility for their actions at any given point. The ATF ought toensure that it finalizes on the rules governing acquisition ofdangerous weapons in order to foster law and order in the country. Atthe same time, the congress needs to implement regulations thatsupport the security agencies in enhancing prevention of gunviolence. Constant chit chats against the efforts of the president tothwart the menace by the congress are not fruitful in the long run.Thus, it is imperative to avoid politicizing the issue of gunviolence (Office of Press Sec, 2016). Further, the department ofhomeland security, and the justice department ought to collaborateand implement technological solutions to the gun violence menace. Inthe modern society technology is a viable option in the fight againstgun violence. Tracking of perpetrators, conducting background checks,analysis of crime rates and constant communication are some of thebenefits that can arise from proper implementation of technology.
Theprivate sector cannot be left out of the fight since it is alsodirectly impacted by the violence. Moreover, the manufacturers ofguns majorly hail from the private sector (Fabianoet. al, 2003).Psychiatrists, schools, researchers and all stakeholders areessential players in ensuring that gun violence is prevented in thesociety. Learning institutions act as homes for the youths for abetter part of their lives and this explains why these institutionsshould not be sidelined in decision making processes especially whenit comes to gun violence. At the same time, community basedprofessionals and researchers can suffice as essential partners inthe fight against gun violence owing to their experience and skillsin the society. Similarly, the business sector can play a huge rolein enhancing research and emancipation of resources to steer societaldevelopment in a bid to prevent idleness and joblessness (Weiner et.al, 2007). With the high level of commitment from all stakeholdersand implementation of continued development initiatives there will bea positive outcome in the long run gun violence will be prevented orreduced considerably.
Gunviolence is a problem that needs to be handled by all stakeholders inthe society. Both the public and private sector has a huge role toplay. While the government focuses on the enforcement andimplementation of key policies and regulations, the private sectorshould provide key resources to boost the initiatives of thegovernment. At the same time, the private sector can providesuggestions on the best strategies to thwart gun violence. Continuedresearch in the field of social security should be encouraged in abid to come forth with quantifiable and reliable data that willspearhead decision making process. Finally, the entire society has ahuge role to play and this is mainly true when it comes to parentswho should instill moral values in their children.
Braga,A. A., Webster, D. W., White, M. D., Saizow, H., CAN Analysis andSolutions, and United States of America. (2014). SMART Approaches toReducing Gun Violence.
Campie,P.E., Petrosino, A., Pace, J., Fronius, T., Guckenburg, S.Wiatrowski, & Ward, S. (2013). Strategiesto prevent urban violence. A companion report to the SSYI evidenceand implementation review.Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services. Boston,MA.
Fabiano,P. M., Perkins, H. W., Berkowitz, A., Linkenbach, J., and Stark, C(2003). Engaging men as social justice allies in ending violenceagainst women: Evidence for a social norms approach. Journalof American College Health,52,105–108.
Huesmann,L. R. (2010). Nailing the coffin shut on doubts that violent videogames stimulate aggression: Comment on Anderson et al. (2010).PsychologicalBulletin, 2, 179–181.
Kalish,R., & Kimmel, M. (2010). Suicide by mass murder: Masculinity,aggrieved entitlement, and rampage school shootings. HealthSociologyReview, 19(4),451–464.
Officeof Press Secretary, White House. (2016), FACT SHEET: New ExecutiveActions to Reduce Gun Violence and Make Our Communities Safer. 7November 2016, fromhttp://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/01/04/fact-sheet-new-executive-actions-to-reduce-gun-violence-and-make-our-communities-safer
Style,A. P. A. (2014) Gun Violence: Prediction, Prevention, and PolicySummary: Conclusions and Recommendations. apa.org