Teachers College’s Sonali Rajan offered hope to Americans seeking answers in the aftermath of 19 Texas students and two teachers losing their lives in the 27th school shooting on U.S. soil since the beginning of the year.
“Gun violence is a solvable problem,” said the Associate Professor of Health Education, an expert in public health measures to help curb gun violence, in an interview with NY1.
“But there is not one single solution,” Rajan cautioned. “So, the reliance on one specific policy or one particular term – we hear a lot about control – is not enough.”
A scholar at the forefront of research-based gun violence prevention, Rajan said continued reliance on armed security and metal detectors will not deter the horror that this week visited a fourth-grade school classroom in Uvalde, Texas.
At one level, she instead staunchly supports an assault weapons ban, strict policies regulating the purchase of firearms and other measures advanced earlier in the week in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece authored by Rajan and colleagues Louis Klarevas and Charles Branas.
Gun safety, Rajan said, cannot in and of itself address the American epidemic of firearm violence, though it is a critical and necessary part of the solution.
Rajan maintains answers also reside in evidence-based “pro-social skills development, data-based behavioral threat assessment protocols along with increased federal and state funding for school counseling and psychological services.
“It is important to have an infrastructure in place that thinks about the mental health and the mental health needs of children not just the day or the week after a mass shooting but on a consistent, equitable basis,” Rajan told NY1.
Read more media coverage on gun violence featuring perspectives from TC faculty experts:
Mailman School of Public Health – Gun Violence Prevention Experts Respond to Mass Shootings
Science News – Mass shootings and gun violence in the United States are increasing
The Los Angeles Times – Op-Ed: Why our response to school shootings is all wrong