As a nation, how do we understand mass shootings and gun violence? news media. How do we learn about the best ways to prevent mass shootings and gun violence? The answer should be “news media”, but it isn’t. However.
People who understand the science of Positive and Negative Childhood Experiences (PACE) — and that’s all in this community — understand that PACE is the root cause of violence. The news media is getting there. In the mass shootings of recent years, more articles have explored the shooter’s childhood, but as I have written in the aftermath of the Buffalo, New York and Uwald, Texas, shootings, there are also More can be done.
In the wake of last week’s mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, two new clues emerged:
- Take a deep dive into the Sagittarius family (and this one) to address this question: Are parents to blame?
- An increasing number of online communities are made up mostly of male youth or young men who celebrate violence and are obsessed with nihilism. “I describe this as a kind of Mass shooters create machines.” “A lot of these communities are designed to spawn mass shooters over and over again over time.”
My take on examining the gunman’s family: I think reporting what happened to the gunman’s family is fine…as long as the reporter takes a trauma-informed approach. That means reporting without words of blame, shame or punishment…so a headline that says “Are parents to blame?” becomes “What happened to that family?”
Parents pass on ACEs and positive childhood experiences (PCEs) to their children. So how can they possibly know their child’s ACE if they don’t know their own ACE? Where do parents get their ACE and PCE?from Their parents and environment. How to break the cycle? Educate families, organizations, and communities about PACE science and integrate PACE science-based practices and policies into all organizations in each community.
My take on the culture of cyberbullying: For now, the suggested solution is to understand the subculture and moderate the content. “It’s not hard to figure out where the different spaces of violence are,” Amy Conley, an independent researcher on far-right extremist movements, digital propaganda, and online subcultures, told NPR. “The difficulty is, if the red flags are still in free speech, what do you do once you find them. Because at the moment we don’t have the ability to intervene, we only have law enforcement.” I have another idea: In my opinion, these subcultures Provides a fantastic opportunity to help young people who are in desperate need of adult care and counselling. This is a project worth funding! !
Continuing problem: The news media’s obsession with mass shootings has persisted, mostly ignoring comprehensive shootings that receive little attention. And then there’s so much horrific news of violence that news organizations don’t report important stories, and in almost every community, the type of violence that costs communities the most heartbreak and money — domestic violence. This Washington Post headline notes that mass shootings may be on their way to domestic violence reporting—too little reporting to help communities figure out how to prevent violence. There are too many mass shootings to cover in the American media: News organizations must make painful decisions about which shootings deserve to be covered on the ground, and for how long.
There is a more contextual, solutions-oriented approach to reporting crime and violence. First, include reports of violence in the health section. Then:
- Scan the types of violence and other crimes in your community to understand which crimes have the greatest impact on the community, trauma and financial costs.
- A public health or solutions-oriented approach covers violence and other types of crime.
- Report on the ongoing status of the different types of violence that affect the community the most so that the community can answer the question: Are we making progress in reducing this type of violence? Use tons of constantly updated charts and graphs. Think sports or business coverage.
- Include training in the science of positive and negative childhood experiences for all news organization staff.
Here are some thoughts on where we are now. (Take note of the next few charts.you might be surprised.)
Violence prevention proponents point to the challenge of changing attitudes toward violence — convincing Americans that violence is predictable and preventable — with public health experts suggesting in the 1950s that quitting smoking would reduce lung cancer rates and in the 1960s, wearing your seat belts And not drinking and driving reduces car deaths and injuries.
For example, until the 1960s, traffic casualties were often blamed on “the nut behind the wheel.” Prevention methods are limited to warnings about safe driving. Then, public health experts, law enforcement agencies, transportation departments, injury control scientists, consumer advocates, public policy makers, and automakers began to view auto fatalities and injuries as a public health problem. They not only study how human factors contribute to crashes, but also vehicles and the environment. In 1975, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began collecting information through its Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS). FARS uses police records and death certificates to accumulate information about drivers (age, gender, blood alcohol content, if seat belts are worn), vehicles (VINs that reveal brand, manufacturer and product characteristics) and environment (weather, location and road conditions) ). To recommend specific safety improvements, the researchers used FARS data to identify unsafe conditions in driver behavior, vehicles, and the environment.
As a result, over the past 30 years, automakers have routinely added collapsible steering columns, seat belts, shoulder straps, anti-roll bars, padded dashboards, anti-lock braking systems, airbags and safety glass. States have passed laws requiring all riders to wear seat belts and car seats for young children, as well as imposing tough penalties on those who drink and drive. Highway engineers improve the safety of roads and intersections. If car crash fatalities were the same as 30 years ago, an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 people would die each year on the nation’s highways, compared with 40,000 now in highway crashes.
As public health researchers began to identify risk factors for car crashes, journalists began to report breaking news on traffic injuries in different ways. They began to include the type of car and its manufacturer, whether people were drinking and driving or wearing seat belts, the condition of the road or intersection, and whether stop lights were working or stop signs were in place. Feature articles focus on car safety design, laws to prevent drinking and driving, vehicle recalls to correct safety issues, and court cases addressing car safety issues.
Likewise, hundreds of national, state, and local violence prevention research programs and programs have emerged since the 1980s. Physicians, public health experts, epidemiologists and social scientists are using public health models to study violence. They analyzed the relationship between people killed or injured, weapons, and the physical, economic and social context in which the violence occurred. In 1983, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a program to study the causes of violence and established the Centers for Injury Control and Prevention. In 1984, American surgeon C. Everett Koop declared that violence was a public health problem for physicians today as smallpox was for previous generations of medicine.
Identifying risk factors for violence is a complex undertaking. There are many different types of violence – violence in which women, children, the elderly and men are injured and killed by family members in the home; gang violence; dating violence; violence by acquaintances; violence by strangers; etc. Risk factors vary by type of violence and often by community. Some of the risk factors that have been identified as contributing to high levels of multiple types of violence include: poverty, racial segregation and discrimination, unemployment, ready availability of alcohol, ready availability of firearms, media portrayals of violence, male sex, young age, lack of parenting education, Childhood exposure to lead, childhood abuse, witnessing violence in the family or community, belief in male dominance over females, and isolation in the nuclear family.
Violence is an epidemic that is difficult to understand and control because no single factor – eliminating or redesigning guns, reducing alcohol availability, or reducing media violence – will stop all violence. Every type of violence in a community is caused by a unique combination of social, cultural, biological and economic risk factors and therefore requires a unique combination of preventive measures. Therefore, a preventive approach must involve a unique mix of people trying to solve the problem: doctors, researchers, community organizers, legislators, police, judges, social workers, teachers, parents and citizens.
Traditionally, journalists have only reported violence as a law enforcement and criminal justice issue. But now that an epidemiological approach to violence has been established, the media can expand their coverage of violence—in breaking news and feature stories—to identify the factors that contribute to it.
The above eight paragraphs were written by me in 1997. (Reporting Violence, Journalists’ Handbook) That was 25 years ago!
The major development that has changed our understanding of violence over the past 25 years has been the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences study, published in 1998, which opened the door to our understanding of why humans do what they do. Since then, we have learned that the root causes of violence and being a victim of violence are the same root causes of chronic disease, mental illness, and economic problems; they exist in the science of positive and negative childhood experiences. This knowledge provides a new way of thinking about how to change human behavior—criminal, unhealthy, or unwelcome. This mindset shifts the traditional approach of using practices and policies based on blame, shaming, and punishment to one based on understanding, nurturing, and healing. (For more details on the science and a link to an article about people using it, see PACEs Science 101.)
I hope the news media will catch up soon. We in the PACE movement can help accelerate this process by commenting on news articles, building relationships with journalists, inviting editors to your local PACE or resilience/trauma initiative meetings, or sending opinion columns to your local news organization. To all Salute to those who do it often. If reporters or editors say they would like to see some ideas on how to provide more context in crime reporting (with a deeper understanding of PACE science), please send them here.
If you are interested in becoming more involved in the PACEs scientific community, please join our peer social network PACEs Connection. Just visit PACEsConnection.com and click “Join”. PACEsConnection.com is the leading advocate for scientific information on Positive and Negative Childhood Experiences (PACE) and the rapidly expanding global PACE science movement.