Violence is preventable, not inevitable
“The initial reaction to the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado, seems eerily familiar. Our hearts ache with sympathy for the Aurora community and for victims and loved ones, and our minds churn with questions about the shooter’s state of mind… We are shocked and seek answers for how this could have happened. And we try to ignore how predictable mass murder has become in America, and how we are no longer surprised by this news.” --Larry Cohen and Howard Pinderhughes, Ph.D., Implications from Aurora
The recent, tragic event in Aurora is part of a larger, devastating pattern of violence in our society--since 2000, the U.S. has witnessed 21 incidents of mass murder. Mental illness and mental health services come up as important considerations after each incident, yet we ignore our collective trauma. Violence in our country is pervasive, and it manifests every day in streets, homes and in communities across the United States. We must address this by taking action—we must develop and implement strategies that will reduce the likelihood of future tragic events, whether they are high-profile massacres or less-publicized acts of violence. Just as policing agencies have been called upon to respond to the Aurora massacre, it’s also critical that the public health community play a role moving forward. We may not be able to prevent every violent incident, but we know what to do make violence far less common and far less likely. Now is a time for mourning and healing, but it is also a time for all of us who are victims of a violent society and culture to take action. Read the full piece in the Huffington Post.