Criminals And Guns-Why Cops Are Concerned

Highlights A very high percentage of violent offenders use or carry firearms per federal sources. What this means for police-involved shootings and public policy. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of award-winning public relations for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every national news outlet. Former […]

The post Criminals And Guns-Why Cops Are Concerned appeared first on Crime in America.Net.

Highlights A very high percentage of violent offenders use or carry firearms per federal sources. What this means for police-involved shootings and public policy. Author Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr. Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of award-winning public relations for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every national news outlet. Former […]

The post Criminals And Guns-Why Cops Are Concerned appeared first on Crime in America.Net.

from https://www.crimeinamerica.net

Gun Rights Leader Predicts ‘Civil War’ Over Bump Stock Ban

Don Spencer, Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association president, warns an ATF regulation published Friday mandating the surrender or destruction of bump stocks by March, 2019 raises the “possibility for civil war” by gun owners. The regulation is already facing legal challenges.

Don’t look for a rush to the door of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after this week’s announcement that bump stocks must be surrendered or destroyed, the Tulsa World reports.

The regulation, to be published in the Federal Register on Friday, gives owners of the devices until March 21, 2019, to act. A lawsuit challenging the regulation has been filed, and many gun owners are not interested in turning over anything to the federal government.

“I think the president made the wrong decision,” said Don Spencer, Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association president. “I think it’s something that opens up the possibility for civil war. People are not willing to give up their guns just because it has a certain kind of stock attached to it. This is an attack on Second Amendment rights.”

The new regulation follows a promise from President Trump to review the devices after the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October 2017 in which the killer sprayed bullets from above into a crowd of concert-goers, killing 58, wounding 400 and resulting in many more injured in the ensuing panic.

Bump stocks actually are not particularly popular and are seen by most gun owners as a gimmick.In fact, “bump firing” is a technique that can be used with any semi-automatic rifle that is simply made easier using the special stock attachment.

David Reeh of the  Shooting Academy in Tulsa said the devices simply aren’t very safe and added that he doesn’t have a problem with the ban. “I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “If you’re firing one of those you lose too much control. It’s bumping back and forth and if it’s moving that much you’re losing control.”

Some critics note that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has beeen surprisingly “muted” in its approach to the ban.

On Tuesday, NRA spokesperson Jennifer Baker expressed mild concern, called the final rule “disappointing” and suggesting the administration should have carved out an “amnesty” for “law-abiding Americans who relied on prior ATF determinations” that the devices were legal to buy, reported Rolling Stone.

The new rule is already facing legal challenges, Rolling Stone added. A lawsuit brought by the Firearms Policy Coalition argues that bump stock owners must be compensated for devices that ATF had previously ruled legal.

“ATF’s abrupt about-face on this issue..smacks of agency abuse or dereliction of duty in following the law,” the suit alleged.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Can Doctors Prevent Firearm Suicides by the Elderly?

Physicians should routinely check whether older patients suffering from dementia and related illnesses have access to guns, says an expert in geriatrics.

Doctors should make gun safety a “routine” part of their health care for older adults suffering from dementia and related illnesses, according to an expert in geriatrics.

Writing in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, Katherine Galluzzi, a geriatrics professor at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, warned that the lack of regulations allowing the removal of firearms from vulnerable populations has made gun-related suicides a persistent threat to the elderly.

“Until those laws are enacted, the responsibility to address gun safety in this at-risk population of older adults must fall to their physicians,” Galluzzi and co-author Ilene Warner-Maron wrote.

“Thus, discussions regarding gun safety must be viewed by physicians as a routine part of health care for vulnerable populations.”

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  older adults commit suicide at a disproportionately higher rate compared to the general population. Men aged 65 and over are more likely to commit suicide than Americans of all other age groups, and three-quarters of them use a gun.

The researchers noted that the absence of a clear legal framework for removing access to firearms owned by older adults with dementia, disability, or psychiatric illness adds to the danger.

They recommended that physicians use a screening tool such as the proposed gun safety checklist for clinicians on a daily basis for at-risk patients. The checklist assesses for “red flags” and gun ownership.

Tara Sklar, a health law professor at the University of Arizona, proposed using “red flag” laws as a solution to suicide among older adults. Also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders, these laws allow law enforcement and, in eight states, family or household members to file a petition for a court order to temporarily remove a person’s access to guns when they show “red flags” in exhibiting dangerous behavior.

More than 30 states have introduced or plan to introduce red flag laws, This year, a study found red flag laws in Connecticut and Indiana have helped prevent gun-involved suicides among older adults. The authors specifically found a nearly 14 percent reduction in suicides with a gun in Connecticut since 2007.

The full report of the current article can be found here.

J. Gabriel Ware is a contributing writer for The Crime Report

from https://thecrimereport.org

Who Owned That Gun? Many Police Agencies No Longer Check

During the 1980s, gun tracing was in vogue, but thanks to changes in federal funding and regulations, many police agencies around the U.S. no longer bother. That can have deadly consequences, a newspaper investigation in South Carolina showed.

The night before Valentine’s Day 2010, South Carolina resident Derrick Shannon called 911 to say he’d accidentally shot his girlfriend in the head.

Shannon wasn’t supposed to have a gun. He had pleaded guilty to a slew of crimes over the years, including criminal domestic violence, burglary, and aggravated assault. Federal law barred him from possessing a firearm.

When police arrived, Shannon, then 29, told them he’d found the Smith & Wesson revolver a couple of weeks earlier in the woods behind his Rembert, S.C., home. He knew he shouldn’t have it, he said, but he held onto it for protection. He claimed that he’d been “messing” with the gun in the bathroom as his girlfriend, Beverly Thomas, cleaned the shower when it suddenly went off.

There was an easy way for police to find out where the gun originated — filling out a simple online form called a trace request provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

But the case file on Shannon doesn’t include any evidence of a trace.

Asked about it, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said they’re not sure why. Gun tracing, said Captain Robert Burnish, is “a tool we use on a case-by-case basis.”

Policing experts and federal officials agree that law enforcement officers should trace every single crime gun that they recover. It’s a key way to solve gun crimes, investigate trafficking, and learn what the ATF’s gun-store inspectors and police could do to keep guns out of criminals’ hands.

But even though traces cost police departments nothing and the request form takes less than five minutes to fill out, a Trace investigation showed that many agencies in South Carolina are not initiating traces, or are pursuing them only occasionally.

Starting with a database developed by The Post and Courier of Charleston, The Trace investigated 35 homicides in South Carolina from 2005 to the present. All the killers had prior domestic violence charges. At first, our goal was to learn how they had obtained their guns.

Instead, we found that in 21 of the cases, there was no evidence the police had requested a trace.

South Carolina police are not alone in their spotty tracing habits. A survey of police departments across the country revealed that while some trace every gun, plenty trace only erratically — or not at all.

“How do we prevent crimes if we don’t know how they happen?” said Jim Bueermann, the president of the Police Foundation, a nonprofit police research and training organization, when presented with our findings.

“It’s fundamental to the investigative process.”

When a gun is traced, the ATF uses basic information from the recovered weapon, like its serial number and manufacturer, to track down when it was first sold by a licensed dealer, and to whom. A trace report can help police solve a specific crime, like when one shows a murder suspect buying a firearm just days before a homicide.

It can help police investigate holes in the system, for instance the one that allowed Shannon to get a gun he ended up using to kill someone. And collectively, trace reports can help police identify trafficking patterns, and what kind of laws might keep firearms out of criminals’ hands.

For example, Chicago police traced four different crime guns they recovered this summer back to the same Idaho pawn shop. By investigating the original sales, they were able to arrest a straw purchaser.

What’s more, experts say if gun tracing is uneven, it skews the good data that law enforcement gets. It’s hard for law enforcement to tell if a gun dealer is actually selling a high number of crime guns, or if that dealer’s guns are simple ending up with police departments that are tracing more comprehensively.

“Every law enforcement agency should be tracing all the guns they recover,” said Thomas Ahern, a former senior special agent for ATF who now works as a spokesman for Chicago Police Department.

Chicago police trace every crime gun they recover, Ahern said.

In South Carolina’s bigger cities, Charleston and Columbia, police said the same, as did their colleagues in North Charleston and Dorchester and Charleston counties. But officials in several smaller South Carolina jurisdictions said that once officers know who pulled the trigger, they have fulfilled their obligation — there’s no need for them to find out where the gun came from.

Even if the offender was prohibited from possessing a gun, there are enough ways for criminals to get around the system — by inheriting the gun, or buying it from a private seller — that it seems unlikely that a trace report will yield useful information, they said.

Brian King, a spokesperson for the 8th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office, which prosecutes cases in four counties in the northwestern part of the state, said that the files police send to his office rarely contain trace reports.

“There’s no value for us in determining where or when a gun was purchased,” he said. “ATF would love it if all these other people would do all this other work. It doesn’t add any value to a case we’re making.”

Other law enforcement experts dispute that trace reports are a significant burden on police departments. They do require that police get in the habit of writing down key information on the gun, like the manufacturer’s name and the country where it was made.

But traces are free to local police and quick to request. Urgent traces are returned within 24 hours. Routine traces usually take about nine days.

In Pickens County, a rural community of about 120,000 residents in the northwest part of South Carolina, Chief Deputy Creed Hashe was surprised to learn that the ATF wants departments to trace every gun recovered. If it helps with broader investigations, he said, his department would be willing to make the effort.

But he added that guns are popular in his area and the number of guns his department collects can be overwhelming.

“With as many firearms as we come in contact with, I feel like it would literally shut the system down if we traced every one,” he said.

When a Pickens County man named William Thomas shot his wife, his 15-year-old stepson, and then himself in 2012, Hashe said his department did not trace the gun. The shooter was dead and could not be prosecuted, so “it didn’t matter where he got the gun,” Hashe said.

But Bueermann said that even if the suspect is dead, or police think they know where an offender got the gun, a trace can unearth important information.

“How do you know that someone didn’t transfer the gun to him knowing what he was going to use it for, or that someone didn’t buy the gun and encourage him to do it?” Bueermann said. W

When there’s a plane crash or a medical mistake, investigators get to the bottom of how it happened, Bueermann added. Why don’t police do the same thing when someone is shot or killed?

Gun researchers and the ATF said no one keeps data on what percentage of recovered crime guns are traced nationwide. And police departments across the country report a huge variation in how comprehensively they trace recovered crime guns. Police in some smaller cities we called — like Odessa, Texas, and Decatur, Alabama — said they routinely trace every gun they recover. Law enforcement in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and Pocatello, Idaho, by contrast, said they trace on a case-by-case basis.

New Jersey is the only state where police are required to trace every gun. Since an attorney general’s directive that requires gun traces took effect in 2008, the state has used tracing data to better understand where its crime guns come from and how to keep them out, said Jeremy Feigenbaum, a counsel to the Attorney General’s office.

Trace reports show that about 80 percent of New Jersey guns come from outside the state. Last year, law enforcement used gun traces to uncover a trafficking ring that was bringing illegal guns from Ohio to criminals in New Jersey, Feigenbaum said,

Tracing information, which New Jersey law enforcement agencies are now required to share with each other, also helps lawmakers know what legislation might have the most impact, he added.

“It helps us understand what the exact problem is so we can make laws,” Feigenbaum said.

Even mistakes can be valuable when you learn from them, according to Rick Myers, executive director at the Major Cities Chiefs Association, which represents the largest law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Canada. For example, after a man slipped through the gun background check system and was able to buy the AR-15 style rifle that killed 26 people at a Sutherland, Tx., church last year, federal agencies improved the way they were entering military conviction information into the FBI’s background check database, Myers said.

“As unfortunate as that case was, it really was a call to arms to take a good hard look at the system and tighten it up,” he said.

As part of The Trace investigation, journalists found one Greenville County case from 2010 in which the trace report showed a murderer got around the checks that are supposed to prevent violent people from having guns.

In that case, the ATF’s inquiries found that Dennis Gibbs bought a gun from a licensed dealer despite a conviction for criminal domestic violence. Seven days later, he used it to kill his girlfriend, Jessica Anderson, and shoot her 14-year-old daughter.

Steve Morris oversaw the FBI’s gun background check system until 2016. He said that when a person who should be stopped by a background check somehow passes one, it’s important to look back and see where the system failed.

There was a time, during the 1980s, when gun tracing was in vogue. Through its Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative, the ATF got 27 cities across the country to commit to tracing every gun they recovered. In return, the agency agreed to crunch the data and send back valuable information about possible straw sales, trafficking patterns, and problematic dealers.

“We were striving to make tracing a routine thing, just like everyone you arrest, you fingerprint,” said Bradley Buckles, who was director of the ATF at the time.

Buckles said the effort helped police solve specific cases, and gave the ATF crucial information about where to direct their enforcement efforts. He recalled that the data helped track down a band of gun traffickers in Norfolk, Virginia, who were selling guns illegally to buyers in New York.

But Buckles believes the trace data was sometimes used unfairly. Lawmakers and the media cited the numbers to publicly raise questions about dealers who had sold the most crime guns. Buckles said some dealers who were featured hadn’t done anything illegal — they sold a lot of guns, and it followed that some of them eventually made it into criminal hands.

Glenn Pierce, director of the Institute for Security and Public Policy at Northeastern University, told us that by singling out dealers, legislators riled defenders of the Second Amendment.

“It provoked a tremendous backlash,” Pierce said. “They were going beyond the data and picking on a group that was more powerful than tobacco companies.”

Under President George W. Bush, the Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative lost its funding. Then in 2003, Congress passed the Tiahrt Amendment, which prohibits the ATF from releasing information from its trace database to anyone other than a law enforcement agent or prosecutor.

In recent years, gun tracing has sometimes been characterized as inefficient. Because very few states and cities require owners to register their weapons, there’s no official record of what happens after a licensed dealer first sells a gun. Police investigating a crime must painstakingly establish the chain of possession starting with that first legal owner.

What’s more, under a 1986 law, the ATF can’t build a searchable gun database. Because of that, records of the original gun sales are kept with the dealers or with the ATF, in paper files or on microfiche, and employees must scroll through reams of films to find the relevant record.

Beneath the reams of paper and archaic filing systems, however, law enforcement experts say the national tracing center holds data that could be used to significantly reduce the nation’s gun crime.

“You never know which case will or won’t be important,” said Tom O’Reilly, director of the Police Institute at Rutgers University.

“You may get a lot of dead ends, but once in a while you’re going to get that string to pull, and it really takes you somewhere.”

Ann Givens is a 2018 John Jay/Justice Reporting Fellow. This is a slightly edited version of a story published in partnership with the Post and Courier. The complete version can be accessed here. Readers’ comments are welcome.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Gun Background Check Laws May Have Little Effect, Study

Comprehensive Background Check (CBC) policies may not affect firearm background checks, a new study by the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP) and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found. 

Comprehensive Background Check (CBC) policies may not affect firearm background checks, according to a new study by the University of California-Davis Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP) and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Of the three states that recently expanded comprehensive background check policies (Washington, Colorado and Delaware) to include all gun transfers, including those among private parties, only Delaware showed an overall increase in firearm background checks.

Washington and Colorado had no changes, which the study authors say suggests that compliance and enforcement were incomplete.

Although 35 percent to 40 percent of all firearm transactions in the U.S. are between private parties, federal law does not require background checks for transactions among private parties, the study said.

“The overwhelming majority of all firearms used for criminal purposes, some 80 percent, are acquired through private party transactions,” wrote Alvaro Castillo-Carniglia, lead author of the study and a VPRP postdoctoral research fellow.

“By expanding background checks to include private-party transfers, there is a higher chance that these policies will make it harder for felons and other prohibited persons to acquire firearms and commit violent crimes.”

Researchers estimated the difference in the monthly rate of background checks per 100,000 people for handguns, long guns and both types combined using data from January 1999 through December 2016.

In Delaware, CBC policy enactment resulted in a 25 percent increase in background checks for handguns and a 34 percent increase for long guns, but Washington and Colorado experienced no overall increase in background checks.

“Unregulated firearm transactions are a public health problem,” Castillo-Carniglia concluded.

“Comprehensive background check policies can play an important role in preventing the negative health and social consequences of violence.”

A full copy of the report can be found here.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Revisiting The Borderline Bar & Grill Shooting Scene In Thousand Oaks, CA

There are over 3500 stories on this blog
go to the main page at www.crimefilenews.com

from http://www.crimefilenews.com/

Revisiting The Borderline Bar & Grill Shooting Scene In Thousand Oaks, CA

There are over 3500 stories on this blog
go to the main page at www.crimefilenews.com

from http://www.crimefilenews.com/

Why the Second Amendment Protects the AR-15 Assault Rifle

Gun control advocates are wrong to advocate banning so-called assault weapons on the grounds they are “weapons of war,” says a  law professor who argues such bans are based on a misconception.

The push to ban civilian ownership of so-called “assault weapons” such as the AR-15 rifle is predicated on the misconception that these weapons are indistinguishable from those used in the military, according to a law professor at Campbell University.

In a recent article published in 43 Southern Illinois Law Journal, E. Gregory Wallace argues that this misconception is caused by gun-control advocates who spread myths about the AR-15 rifle and similar weapons.

One myth, according to Wallace, who describes himself as a competitive shooter and certified firearms instructor, is that they are solely for combat.

“Any rifle can be used in war, but certain rifles are made exclusively for combat applications,” Wallace writes. “The United States military has never used the semiautomatic-only AR-15 for combat.”

Instead, Wallace notes, the U.S. military uses the M16 rifle and the smaller M4 carbine—both automatic weapons that fires continuously so long as the shooter presses and holds the trigger.

A second myth, according to Wallace, is that the semiautomatic AR-15 is designed to “spray” a high volume of bullets almost as rapidly as a machine gun, even though it and other “assault weapons” do not have such “spray fire” capability.

“This is part of [gun-control advocates’] strategy to exploit confusion surrounding ‘assault weapons’ and make courts, lawmakers, and the public think that such weapons operate like machine guns and are therefore more dangerous than other rifles,” Wallace writes.

In an unprecedented ruling, the en banc Fourth Circuit in Kolbe v. Hogan declared that the AR-15 is not a protected firearm under the Second Amendment because it is functionally equivalent to the military M16. Wallace notes that the court labeled civilian AR-15s “exceptionally lethal weapons of war” that are designed “to kill or disable the enemy on the battlefield.”

Wallace also notes that court made its decision based on an interpretation of District of Columbia v. Heller that excludes weapons that are “like” M16 rifles from Second Amendment protection.

“One flaw is that small arms such as long guns and handguns have never been nicely separated into distinct categories of ‘military firearms’ designed for the battlefield and ‘civilian firearms’ designed for hunting, target shooting, or self-defense,” Wallace wrote.

“Historically, most popular civilian firearms were designed for military use. Civilians have been buying and using ‘weapons of war’ since musket days, with little if any significant differences between military and civilian versions of these firearms.”

Washington state had the only gun-control ballot initiatives in the nation during the most recent midterm elections, and residents passed Initiative 1639, which bars the sale of semi-automatic rifles to people under 21 and to people who don’t live in Washington.

It also requires buyers to pass an enhanced background check and prove they have taken a firearms training course. The NRA is suing the state in response.

A copy of the study can be downloaded here.

J. Gabriel Ware is a TCR news intern. Readers’ comments are welcome.

from https://thecrimereport.org

What Works in Reducing Gun Violence? $10m RAND Program Aims to Find Out

 The initiative is aimed at filling the gap in federal funding, participants in the American Society of Criminology conference in Atlanta were told. Meanwhile, a researcher told the conference that her own study suggests that many youths in marginalized communities carry guns as a “logical” choice for self-protection.  

A major effort by the RAND Corporation to explore gun violence in America will provide initial grants totaling $10 million for support new research into policies that can reduce injuries and deaths from firearms.

“We know shockingly little about the effects of gun laws,” Andrew Morral of RAND told a special session on Gun Violence in America at the annual conference of the American Society of Criminology.

Morral said the new National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, underwritten with a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, will eventually fund up to $20 million in new research over the five-year period of the project.

He said the initiative was aimed at filling the gap left by reduced federal funding of scientific research into gun violence.

According to Morral, researchers have so far identified only a few harm-reduction strategies that are clearly effective, such as laws restricting children’s access to guns, as well as several that have been shown to be counter-productive, such as the ‘Stand Your Ground” law passed by Florida.

Many other intervention strategies such as “focused deterrence” are promising but inconclusive, the panel was told.

Jocelyn Fontaine

Jocelyn Fontaine, senior research fellow, The Urban Institute

Jocelyn Fontaine, a senior research fellow at the Urban Institute, told the session that interviews with young people in marginalized communities indicated that such intervention strategies are often undermined by perceptions that the guns are required for self-protection—even if they never expect to use them.

She quoted one youth interviewed in her study as saying that having a gun allows you to “flash it if someone looks at you wrongly.”

For many young people in violence-prone neighborhoods, even those who are not gang members, carrying a firearm involves making a “calculated decision” based on rational considerations.

“It’s a mainstream logical decision,” she said, noting that this makes it harder for youth intervention programs to “disabuse people from carrying a gun.”

Fontaine noted that most youths considered the risks of getting caught as low, thereby perpetuating a “vicious cycle of gun-carrying,” she said.

Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said that while homicide rates have fallen significantly in the U.S. over the past three decades, homicides with firearms have increased.

“The proportion of homicides with firearms was 74 percent in 2016,” he said. The figure was 66 percent in 1990.

The firearm homicide rate increased by 30 percent between 2014-2016, he said.

The reasons for the increase still need further study, but one factor may be the opioid epidemic, said Rosenfeld, observing that homicides among whites increased by 55 percent in that time period, five times the rate for African Americans.

“As sources dry up, people are forced to go into the streets,” for opioids like heroin, which may exacerbate deadly competition among suppliers, he said.

Daniel Webster, a gun policy researcher at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said additional research was needed into public health strategies of gun violence reduction.

Some widely promoted remedies such as making guns “smarter” with RFID chips that allow only authorized users to fire them may be counter-productive.

“They might be useful for certain tragic kinds of shootings [like mass shootings],” he said, but he added researchers found that the only gun owners who are interested in safer guns are those who are already committed to taking steps to safeguard and protect their firearms.

And smart-gun technology could prove counter-productive in the long run, he warned, since “it might also bring more people to buy the product, and lead to more deaths.”

Webster noted that 60 percent of gun deaths are suicides, which indicated the need for proactive strategies that deal with mental health and behavioral issues of individuals who are most likely to turn their guns against themselves.

See also: “Could Red Flag Laws Reduce Gun Violence Among the Elderly?”

This report was prepared by TCR editor Stephen Handelman.

from https://thecrimereport.org

How School Violence ‘Madness’ Robs Students of Help

Many school districts are spending money on fortifying school buildings at the expense of hiring counselors and psychologists, University of Virginia Prof. Dewey Cornell tells criminologists. He urges more emphasis on prevention.

Schools in the U.S. are much “safer than the public perceives,” says Dewey Cornell, forensic clinical psychologist and professor of education at the University of Virginia.

Speaking on Thursday at the American Society of Criminology convention in Atlanta, Cornell argued that a national “madness” surrounding mass school shootings has prompted many policymakers to spend money on fortifying school buildings at the expense of providing needed services to troubled students.

Cornell readily conceded that 301 people have been shot at schools, many of them fatally, since the Newtown, Ct., massacre in 2012.

Yet 500,000 people have been shot in non-school settings nationwide during the same period.

“You’re safer in schools than outside,” he said.

In Cornell’s view, the fear of school violence has prompted many educators to adopt a zero-tolerance policy that is “not effective,” expelling many students and making them worse in the process.

What school districts should do, he says, is adopt a thorough threat assessment procedure that “prevents school shootings before a gunman is at your door.”

Many Virginia schools have done that successfully, Cornell said.

He said threats by students and others should be investigated, but 99 percent of them will not be carried out. While many schools are pouring money into metal detectors, stronger doors, and locks, some counselors and psychologists are vastly underfunded, each responsible for 1,000 to 2,000 students, making it impossible to deal with all disturbed students.

Details of the University of Virginia’s prevention recommendations can be found at this site. Cornell spoke at a program on “Understanding, Preventing and Responding to Violence in the United States,” sponsored by the National Institute of Justice.

This report was prepared by Ted Gest, president of Criminal Justice Journalists and Washington Bureau chief of The Crime Report.

from https://thecrimereport.org