Letter to the Editor: Focus on person, not weapon

It seems as though some are too quick to pull the proverbial trigger to reduce violence and gun-related crimes without having an entirely clear view of the situation. We must look deeper into the cause, not the action, to take appropriate steps to deter violence. A person who wants to harm another and or harm themselves should be the focus of preventive action.

Ruth Briggs King

Our children have been desensitized to violence through various media, such as movies, games, books, and other entertainment. Too often, they are exposed at an early age to situations they are not prepared to understand.

We should be working to focus on the major red flags that often wave before violent action occurs. Evidence reveals the underlying issues that might be the precursor to prevent mass incidents. The Secret Service released a report in November that revealed shooters showed warning signs and that the actions were not a “sudden, impulsive act” and that the majority of incidents were preventable.

I recently attended a forum on gun violence that was held in New Castle County. There, we heard from experts who explained the mind set behind those responsible for mass shootings (four or more killed), many of which were through an act of domestic violence.

In 2020, let’s focus on the person, not the weapon, and let’s train professionals to notice warning behaviors, train threat assessment teams, review what contributes to the spread of a certain behavior (i.e., “social contagion”), and work to prevent suicide.

State Rep. Ruth Briggs King