OXFORD, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced a committee of national and local experts to pursue methods of approaching gun violence prevention.
The commission is composed of first responders, local elected officials, faith leaders, first responders, and individuals impacted by gun violence who hope to create an evidence-based curriculum to prevent gun violence and mass shootings in Oakland County and potentially elsewhere according to the Detroit News.
Education Week reports that there have been 30 school shootings that resulted in injuries or deaths in 2022 so far, after tracking incidents since 2018. The organization reports 122 incidents since then, and documented 2021 as the most lethal with 34 shootings.
One of these shootings was the Oxford High School shooting which claimed the lives of four students and wounded seven and has the alleged shooter, Ethan Crumbley, and his parents in jail with ongoing cases.
“These events occur and they make a lot of news and then people start arguing about gun control laws and I think gun access is a critical issue, but it isn’t the only issue,” McDonald said. “I can’t do anything about gun accessibility, so I’m going to focus on the things that I can do.”
While the national dialogue regarding gun violence has not been conducive to solving the problem, action in Michigan has been too slow so she is taking matters into her own hands to prevent the next Oxford, according to McDonald.
McDonald believes a big misconception about mass shootings is that they are instantaneous, rather than a preventable tragedy where the shooters exhibit clear warning signs. Adding gun violence is a complex issue and though mental health is a part of the conversation that will help find solutions, there is a lot more that goes into the problem.
There is no specific timeline for the commission to produce a report and recommendations for schools, workplaces and institutions, but McDonald said the commission’s goal is to deliver data-driven recommendations within eight months.
This decision comes just under ten months after the Oxford School shooting.