Letter: Let’s learn from mass shootings | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letter: Let’s learn from mass shootings

The FBI defines a mass shooting as when someone shoots four or more people around the same time. Mass shootings are frightening because they are so random, senseless, and seemingly out of our control. Like shark attacks, lightening, and airplane crashes they create headlines. And like the terrorist bomber, mass shooters give us someone to hate.

But the numbers tell us that the threat to American lives remains small. Small compared to what? Statistics show that we are almost 30 times more likely to die from police bullets than the guns of a mass shooter. The statistics show similar bottom lines for terrorists, sharks and the other headline grabbers.

Outrage stems from the fact that police violence against the citizenry is, for the most part, preventable. In addition to the many non-lethal weapons now available to police, psychological de-escalation of situations remains under utilized. Why are we so dependent on the gun?

Somehow, police in other first-world countries manage to get through the year with only a handful of killings — in an entire country. The United States, sadly, stands with third-world countries with our frequency of killings by police.

If the public loses the confidence and trust of the police, then the fabric of democracy begins to unravel. It is our responsibility as citizens to bring reform to the organization that serves and protects us.

Dan Gill

South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

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