On Guns…A Different Argument
The last two weeks have been full of emotional, political upheaval. With the upcoming 2016 election, the national passion for politics has started taking a front-row seat in the American community. Presidential actions like President Obama’s recent executive action on gun control mandates has added to this fervor.
Probably the most popular issue that we address at NAPS is our stance on firearms, gun control, the right to bear arms, etc. It’s a valid question, especially since our business is “safety”. It is also a question that we continually duck and dodge with regularity.
For NAPS, ours is an endeavor that is based on the safety and security of all individuals, and we certainly do not want to make our important program one that drives people away. Our stance is as follows: NAPS is an organization committed to providing training and consultation based on proactive, innovative programs for safety and security for all avenues of our national community. One could argue that firearms can be used for providing security to an individual, a private residence, a public facility and so forth. Others could counter that argument and say that the strict control of firearms in our society would limit violent crimes, thereby negating the need for security measures in the locations listed above. We understand the arguments; we just choose to not take part in the discussion. It’s not what NAPS does.
Whatever your stance on firearms is, we respect it. However, our research on the subject has determined that a firearm or the mandates of firearm control are not in the interest of proactive safety. Firearms are used as a deterrent or a reactionary tool to stop a threat. But they do not serve a purpose as it pertains to identifying threat-related behaviors in individuals, assessing a level of danger that a person may be based on a behavioral pattern, or working with a group or organization to create a working program based on positive, proactive intervention plans.
What we would truly enjoy seeing is legislative action taken to further the process of proactive safety, and not a return to the tired political arguments of gun control vs. gun rights. Because one thing that we do know for sure is that the executive orders made, the bills proposed, the laws passed are not working. In the end, we still have a shadow of violence that blankets the country, and we will continue to feel the pain of rampage violence on civilian targets. Obviously, we understand that this evokes an emotional response from people, and it is one of those rare topics that you have one opinion or another rather than remain neutral. But for us, if we can address the mental and behavioral issues that motivate an individual to pick up a gun in the first place, then the gun becomes a moot point. How do we address those issues? First we have to identify the person who is suffering and get them the help that they need.
When it comes to identification, that’s going to take all of us. Pro-gun control, pro-gun, conservative, liberal…. violence does not keep favorites, it does not recognize political lines and it does not play favorites. We are all potential targets unless we work together to proactively stop violence.
Jason Wells is the President and Founder of the National Advancements for Proactive Safety, an educational non-profit organization committed to providing a safe community through intervention processes. He is a former Special Agent with the United States Secret Service, and holds a Masters of Science with highest honors in Strategic Security and Protection Management. Mr. Wells is currently pursuing his doctorate in Strategic Security with a focus on proactive interventions to stop threat-related behavior. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.