Deseret News
Letter to the editor

While mass shootings inevitably lead to divisive debates on gun control and/or mental illness, one research-based practical solution to preventing gun violence, which has the support of both sides of the political spectrum, is violence prevention programs in our communities and schools.

School districts should be praised for the security procedures they already have in place to ensure student safety in the event of gun violence. However, many parents are most concerned with preventive measures.

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Research shows that in 80 percent of school shootings, at least one other person had knowledge of the plan but failed to report it. In addition, 70 percent of people who commit suicide tell someone their plans or give some type of warning. Prevention programs such as Sandy Hook Promise’s “Say Something” help students identify the signs before a shooting or suicide happens.

Although access to mental health care and sensible gun control laws are important parts of the conversation regarding needed policy changes to prevent gun violence, one simple yet effective step that parents and others can take to prevent gun violence is to contact their local school or PTA branch in favor of implementing a gun violence prevention program.

Mary Memmott

Layton