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RAND Toolkit Aims to Reduce The Likelihood of Mass Shootings

The RAND Corp. created a toolkit to help reduce the likelihood of mass shootings and other public attacks to reduce the casualties of completed attacks.

RAND expressed the hope that the "toolkit can make you a better defender against mass attacks."

The publication was based on a study of 600 mass attack events and plots, interviews with dozens of experts, and hundreds of references, resulting in a "Mass Attacks Defense Chain, a series of defenses that work together to reduce the probability of mass attacks."

RAND focused on three key points, which it identified as:

--Proactive prevention, nothing that almost two-thirds of foiled plots were stopped as a result of public reporting.

--Relentless follow up, by an interagency team led by a single point of contact designated for each case.

--Diligent training. The toolkit says that advance planning and training are required of all agencies and partners who jointly respond to mass attacks.

RAND identified gaps in agencies' capabilities to prevent attacks that can be addressed through improved procedures and training.

"There are needs to improve training and/or procedures on public education on reporting, finding and addressing pre-attack site surveillance, finding and addressing pre-attack gun diversion, wellness checks, and threat assessment," the toolkit says.

RAND says that "mass shootings and other mass attacks are rare events. As a result, the tendency for sporadic mobilization and longer-term loss of initiative hovers over prevention and mitigation planning."

The toolkit cites "a lack of education on suspicious gun purchases," saying that "the development and dissemination of education and training on how to not sell a gun to the wrong person are needed."

The publication say "there are communication shortfalls around banned individuals," explaining that, "There have been communication breakdowns in which people who were banned from obtaining guns because they posed a threat to themselves or others were able to do so anyway, or they were denied but did not act on a threat."

The toolkit was funded by the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice.


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