Gun violence is a leading cause of premature death in the U.S, leading to over 38,000 deaths and nearly 85,000 injuries each year. These statistics tell a tragic story of how deeply interwoven this pattern of violence is in America – a pattern which soared to new heights last year.
A recent study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that major US cities such as New York, Baltimore, Chicago, and Los Angeles saw historical levels of gun violence, which outpaced previous years’ records – in spite of lockdown orders. And, now that many states are beginning to reopen, these numbers are continuing to increase.
While expert sources have cited the mental and emotional instability of the pandemic as significant contributors to gun violence, these unisolated events are a part of an unresolved pattern that has yet to see a tangible solution. America’s gun violence epidemic didn’t begin in 2020, and it won’t end until we take action.
In order to bring about effective change, leaders must first recognize this ongoing series of violence as a national epidemic that requires proactive intervention. With the ever-present threat of a new fatality each day, leaders can no longer wait to take action until after a tragedy strikes to fortify their security measures.
Adopting a Multi-Layered, Proactive Security Approach
While tackling this epidemic can feel insurmountable, adopting a multi-layered, proactive security plan can be effective in reducing, or even preventing, gun violence.
The first step to developing a multi-layered security approach involves conducting a risk assessment of one’s current infrastructure. This stage should involve local first responders and public safety partners, such as law enforcement and emergency medical services, who can provide intel into existing risks and vulnerabilities.
The next step that leaders must take is equipping all grounds of the premises with onsite security, and live camera feeds, to actively monitor for signs of risk. Surveillance methods such as these can often serve as a deterrent to assailants, who are less likely to target visibly secured locations.
Compounding these efforts with the power of digital technology, like gun detection software, helps insert another key component into a security framework – one that is both proactive and effective. Enhanced capabilities such as 24/7 AI monitoring can enable cameras to detect visible weapons before shots are fired, either proactively preventing gun violence before it occurs or ensuring that help arrives as quickly as possible.
The constant drumbeat of headlines covering the latest tragedy can make America’s gun violence epidemic incite a feeling of hopelessness. But we should be spurred to action, not indifference. Preventable measures exist that help to mitigate risk and reduce the risk of gun violence. Taking the crucial steps to fortify one’s security approach is a tangible, and immediate action that leaders can challenge this epidemic and begin effecting change.