Are We Now Experiencing a Tsunami of Gun Violence?

The United States is currently in a challenging place regarding shootings, crime, and gun violence. While the statistics do not always correspond, CNN is now reporting we have had as many as 40 mass shootings in January 2023 alone.

This is considerably more than in past months.

There is no standardized definition of a mass shooting as it relates to gun violence.

The Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group, defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot or killed in a single or related event, not including the shooter.

However, what may come as a surprise is that some forms of crime are actually on the decline. According to the FBI’s “Uniform Crime Report for 2020,” robbery and property crime has decreased. This could be, some analysts point out, because more people were at home during the pandemic.

But it’s violent crime – homicides and bloodshed – that have increased and are now gripping the country in fear. Commenting on the FBI report, Philip Cook, a crime expert with Duke University, says the U.S. is not necessarily experiencing a crime wave, “but a tsunami of lethal violence.”

Supporting Cook’s comment, Princeton sociologist Patrick Sharkey says that since 2020, “the rise in violence appears to be almost entirely a rise in gun violence, rather than a more general increase in all forms of crime.”   Others support the views of these two experts.

Gun Violence Finding Its Way into the Office

Many business owners and facility managers are concerned that this rise in gun violence in public places, along with other forms of violence, may find its way into their facilities. They are also wondering what steps they can take to protect their people and facilities, prevent or minimize the chances of such violence occurring, and should it happen, find ways to mitigate the effects.

Typically, larger organizations have some security countermeasures in place. However, all too often smaller organizations do not. This is no longer sustainable. No manager or business owner should allow this situation to continue.

In an earlier post, we discussed the value of having a physical security assessment conducted. Here, let’s discuss risk assessments. We have addressed this topic on the TAL Global website before, but this challenge is not going away anytime soon. Business owners and managers must keep security front and center when it comes to providing a safe workplace for their staff.

Definition of a Risk Assessment

Let’s start with a definition of a risk assessment:

A risk assessment involves identifying hazards that could impact a facility – natural or manmade – like workplace violence, a hurricane, an earthquake, a plane crashing into your facility, an active shooter, flooding, or fire.

In other words, this type of assessment is about what could happen.

A risk assessment would likely include the following information:

Local crime statistics. The keyword here is “local.” In doing this type of assessment TAL Global security experts not only gather community crime statistics, but also crime statistics based on where the facility is located. This is much more pertinent information than national or community averages.

A professionally conducted risk assessment will include educating and instructing business owners, managers, and staff on detecting potential workplace violence. Invariably there are warning signs: someone using violent language, physical threats, grievances, feeling unfairly treated, bullying, or changes in behavior.

We need to recognize these and realize how serious the ramifications can be should they not be addressed. A risk assessment will correct these oversights so building managers can protect their people and their facilities.

Please visit our Knowledge Center for more security related posts.

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