Sometimes it seems as if mass shootings—at schools, offices and even churches—have become the “new normal” in American life. What seemed outrageous in 1999, the year of the tragic shootings of 12 students and 1 teacher at Columbine High School in Colorado, has become increasingly commonplace today. There was the massacre of more than 50 concertgoers at an outdoor venue in Las Vegas in 2017, and the fatal shootings of more than a dozen students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida only a few months later, in February 2018.
Mass shootings such as these, however, comprise only one dimension of the overall problem of gun violence, something emphasized in a new report from a national organization of law enforcement leaders and supported by a leading funder. In June 2018, only a few months after the tragic shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, more than 150 police chiefs, sheriffs, federal officials, researchers and funders met in Washington, D.C., for a conference on reducing gun violence. Out of that conference came a new report from the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF): “Reducing Gun Violence: What Works and What Can Be Done Now.” The study is part of PERF’s Critical Issues in Policing series and received support from the Motorola Solutions Foundation.