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The Conundrum Lawmakers Face When It Comes to Ending Active Shooter Incidents

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By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest

It is an absolute tragedy that the number of active shooter incidents in the United States has dramatically increased in the last few years. This development is utterly shocking; while American citizens are grieving and reeling from one tragedy, another shooting happens in its wake.

The American people are pleading for an end to this type of violence. Lawmakers are still trying to sort out what types of policies they can create to put an end to these mass casualty incidents.

Gun control and gun rights advocates have come up with numerous arguments for and against the use of firearms in the United States. At the same time, public safety experts are working to create systems where they can save as many lives as possible in the wake of such a disaster.

John Kingdon, a famous political scientist, developed the Multiple Streams Framework. This framework essentially argues that when there are problems in society coupled with politics and policies, a window of opportunity emerges for a policy entrepreneur to work swiftly and create policy changes.

The trouble with the political climate today are there are so many perspectives. As a result, it is difficult to understand where new measures can take place in a realistic fashion to effectively end mass casualty incidents.

Asking Politicians to Create Gun Control Policies

In the wake of the Parkland school shooting, Americans asked Congress for stronger gun control laws. No one, other than those who actually commit these shootings, wants for students to die in school when those students are only there to get an education.

Asking Congress to create stronger gun laws sounds like it is a relatively simple endeavor. However, gun control is a particularly complicated concept considering the Constitution and the Constitutional right to bear arms. Gun right advocates see gun control as a means of restricting their freedom — something to which many gun rights advocates will simply not agree.

The American government system is incredibly complex in its design, which has made the creation of new laws relatively complex and slow. Considering both sides of the argument and the difficulties that the federal bureaucratic system presents, it is difficult for lawmakers to create gun control policies in the wake of these shootings.

Establishing a Solid Budget for EMS Agencies Dealing with Active Shooter Incidents

It will take a while for lawmakers to create policies that will have a meaningful and lasting effect on the United States. Furthermore, creating a policy that would actually end mass casualty incidents is particularly complex because there are numerous factors that contribute to these incidents.

Instead, lawmakers can quickly work to establish appropriate budgets for police, fire and emergency medical services — the public safety agencies that respond to mass casualty incidents. In many respects, these agencies, particularly emergency medical services, do not have a well-established budget that would allow them to effectively manage such incidents.

More importantly, an increased budget would help with necessary training for mass casualty incidents. Better budgets would help public safety agencies to manage what they’re currently dealing with across the country.

Lawmakers are faced with particularly complicated decisions as they work to create policies that will end active shooter incidents. In the meantime, however, lawmakers can create solid budgets to help out first responders who bear the brunt of managing active shooter incidents.

Allison G.S. Knox

Allison G. S. Knox teaches in the fire science and emergency management departments at the University. Focusing on emergency management and emergency medical services policy, she often writes and advocates about these issues. Allison works as an Intermittent Emergency Management Specialist in the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response. She also serves as the At-Large Director of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, Chancellor of the Southeast Region on the Board of Trustees with Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society in Social Sciences, chair of Pi Gamma Mu’s Leadership Development Program and Assistant Editor for the International Journal of Paramedicine. Prior to teaching, Allison worked for a member of Congress in Washington, D.C. and in a Level One trauma center emergency department. She is an emergency medical technician and holds five master’s degrees.

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