Is Media Waking Up to Non-Gun Control Options?

(AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)

Gun control tends to be the go-to solution for, well, everything for some people. It’s amazing to me how the supposed solutions to violent crime and the supposed solutions to suicide are the exact same policies, despite the root causes being very, very different, all because anti-gun laws are all some people can think of.


Among those tend to be the vast majority of the media, even at the local level.

Yet a lot of places really aren’t interested in restricting people’s right to keep and bear arms. It doesn’t matter if reporters tweet or write about gun control, it’s just not going to happen there.

But restricting people’s rights further than some places already have isn’t the only option out there. There are other things that can be done, if only people like the media would talk about them.

And, it seems, a couple of someones at the Indianapolis Star just did.

Reducing gun violence is possible, according to experts, even as the debate on legislative gun control measures continues at every level of government.

Those familiar with violence prevention point to proper training, red flag laws and other tools that can be used to curtail shootings in Indiana.

Yes, Indiana already has a red flag law, and that’s gun control, but this whole piece is about addressing the problems without new gun control.

I’m unconvinced that red flag laws really do all that much. There’s not much evidence they do and even if they’re effective at disarming the right people, there’s no real effort to see if they do more harm than good. There needs to be.


Yet red flag laws aren’t where this ends.

They bring up voluntary training, since Indiana doesn’t require it, though I’m pretty sure that’s not the issue.

But there’s one part I really wanted to talk about because it needs to be talked about more.

The city’s Office of Public Health and Safety focuses on violence reduction with its peacemakers program and Elevation Grant Program, which provide money to community-based organizations.

There are many organizations across the city that focus on supporting youth to prevent violence, including the New B.O.Y. mentoring program, VOICESPeace Learning Center, and Leaders of the Achieving, Elevating and Completing (ACE) Initiative.

Each organization takes a different approach. ACE, a program out of the Edna Martin Christian Center, helps at-risk students and tries to keep them from falling into the criminal justice cycle.

“What we wanted to do was look at ways to improve their behaviors, get them on the right trajectory to graduate but also to provide the tools and the resources for them so now they can truly think more positive and have more productive lives,” said Immanuel Ivey, senior director of workforce development and entrepreneurship at Edna Martin Christian Center.


I want to see more people embrace this kind of thing.

See, even if you believe gun control works as advertised, surely you have to acknowledge that it’s better for everyone if we shift people’s life trajectory from a path that leads to violent crime, incarceration, and/or becoming a homicide victim and into one where they’re a productive member of society.

That’s better for everyone and it’s something you’d think we could try to find some common ground on. We can easily justify research to find the best practices, too.

Unfortunately, since it’s not gun control, these efforts aren’t being talked about like they should be.

We need to change that.

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