NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – There have been more mass shootings than days in the year so far. In only 157 days, there have been at least 246 mass shootings, which is defined as four or more people shot or killed.
So, why does this keep happening and what can we do about it? News 8’s Darren Kramer went to the University of New Haven to hear from some experts.
Mike Lawlor is no stranger to fighting gun violence. As a state lawmaker, he wrote Connecticut’s “Red Flag Gun Law,” which has now been adopted by 19 states.
“Mass shootings are actually rare events,” Lawlor said.
Kenneth Gray is a retired FBI agent. Now, both men are professors at the University of New Haven and both are looking at the complicated puzzle of stopping mass shootings.
“You can attack it through reducing the access to weapons or you can look at trying to harden targets. You can look at dealing with the mental health issue. You can look at dealing with threat profiles,” Gray said.
“If every state had Connecticut’s system for allowing law-abiding citizens to keep and possess arms and use them in self-defense, but at the same time having a system that would make it much more difficult, if not impossible, for people who aren’t responsible gun owners to get their hands on guns, we’d be doing a lot better,” Lawlor said.
The two have differing opinions about so-called assault weapons. Gray says long guns like AR-15s are responsible for a fraction of the shootings in this country.
“There were 240 people killed to date in Chicago this year. That’s far more than the number of people that have been killed in all of the mass shootings this year,” Gray said.
Both agree something can and should be done, and that progress will come one small step at a time. Both also agree that a lot of the mass killings could be stopped if people paid attention to warning signs.
Often they are there and if taken seriously, a simple phone call can save lives.