I generally prefer to focus on what is happening in my direct vicinity, with the people I am connected with and with issues that are relevant to me. With the recent mass shootings; however, I couldn’t help but chime in. Does this have anything to do with us directly? Can we do anything about these types of incidents in the future?
Researching some commonalities between perpetrators of violent events such as the few high profile incidents this week, it appears that there are some red flags: prior domestic violence, mental health concerns, sharing their plan or ideas with their network or on social media, male, suicidal, strong beliefs in a particular area that could be considered extreme, hate speech, social isolation and feeling victimized or bullied. Although this is by no means a comprehensive list, having a combination of some of the above may catch red flags in time to report to authorities, prevention efforts for those at risk or extending resources or intervention to individuals who may have the potential for such crimes.
Watching and reading some of the news articles on the most recent shootings, I couldn’t help but feel sick even thinking about it and how distorted some people think. It is certainly concerning and a public health issue. What can we do about it? Be aware, be vigilant, reach out for help if you recognize the potential for violence in others or within yourself. Let’s pray today for all of the victims, their family and friends, these communities and all of the first responders to these incidents. No matter where we are, at least, we can pray.