The Key to Stopping Gun Violence is Education

How can America stop gun violence? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Jason Wells, CEO; National Advancements Proactive Safety; Former Special Agent; Ph.D Candidate, on Quora.

Let me preface it by saying that I certainly respect everyone's opinion about firearms in our country. I understand that it is a hotly debated item, and you may differ in my opinion and I respect that, too.

There, that's where it starts. Mutual respect in agreeing to disagree. We are absolutely grid-locked on this topic in our political spectrum, and both sides have dug their heels so deep that they refuse to come to any table to work things out. We accuse each other of not using "common sense" solutions, but the answers that are floated around are the same tired solutions that don't work. We buy more guns, people are dying. We add more restrictions to guns with laws, people are dying.

I genuinely don't believe that these political answers will ever, ever work. I really don't. I do, however, believe that education will work. I don't like our political leaders assuming that we're not smart enough as a society to be appropriately educated in firearms responsibility and safety. I give us more credit.

If we educate our community more in the short and long-term effects of gun violence, firearms safety, making sure that people understand how law enforcement will respond to a person with a gun (Graham v. Connor, Tennessee v. Garner, "totality of the circumstance"), even community training programs. And sensationalize it less in television and films. I think that all of these options are a good start. Our community was taken off guard when HIV began destroying our society. Did we pass regulations to abstain from sexual intercourse? No, we educated every single person in America on its dangers and how to prevent it. Is it still around? Of course. But through education we are going to beat it. We changed ourselves culturally through education, so it's definitely doable.

People write dissertations on this topic, so forgive me if this is a shortened answer.

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