Sputnik has talked about the mass shooting in Las Vegas last year with Greg Shaffer, former FBI special agent, President of Shaffer Security Group and one of the leading policy experts in the prevention of domestic terrorism and active shooter events.
Sputnik: What is the mood today? Are there any demonstrations? What are the people saying? What's the general atmosphere?
Sputnik: A year after the tragedy, have there been any changes in terms of prevention of such incidents?
Greg Shaffer: I know, in fact, I was just in that area last week talking to police officers that were involved in that shooting. I know that there have been dramatic changes in our response to these events, particularly in the Las Vegas Police Department and the Las Vegas County Sheriff's Department.
Sputnik: The tragic incident, of course, ignited, the gun law control debate, to what extent is this an issue of gun control?
Greg Shaffer: Again, this is strictly my opinion, but I don't think gun control is the issue here. In a vast majority of these shootings stricter gun control would not have prevented the shooters from getting these weapons. In America, we are a gun society. That ship has sailed. Guns are a part of our culture and always will be. Stricter gun control is not the answer.
The shooter does things in the weeks or days leading up to the shooting that give out signals that he is about to become violent. So gun control is not the issue. It is more education, it is more awareness and it is preventing those individuals who are identified as having possible mental health issues from getting access to weapons.
Sputnik: You've just mentioned some key words there, awareness, flagging, data, would there be a single system, would there be possibly a body that could deal with a system of preventive measures that would encompass all of these, obviously, nothing like that exists at the current moment in time, but it could…
So we need to look at ways where we can have that information strictly on mental health to be a part of the criminal background check. So again when an individual walks into a gun store and attempts to buy a weapon he is somehow identified as having mental health issues and then unable to purchase the weapon.
Sputnik: As an expert in prevention of domestic terrorism and active shooter events what other practical solutions could be proposed to deal with these issues?
Greg Shaffer: Well, my number one comment when I teach anti-active shooter classes, anti-active shooter response courses the number one thing I tell my client is you have to move, you can't be stationary. Now, the Mandalay Bay Las Vegas shooting was an anomaly. That individual, and we still don't know reasons why he did this, the motivation is still unknown, but he took his shots from almost 400 meters away.
The hit rate on a moving target with a handgun and most of these incidents are shooters with handguns and not with long guns as was in the Las Vegas shooting, the hit rate is 4%. So that means you have a 96% chance of not being shot just by running.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of Greg Shaffer and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.