Topic

gun violence

211 petitions

Update posted 4 weeks ago

Petition to Nancy Pelosi, Donald J. Trump, United States Department of Health and Human Services

Require mental health screenings at checkups with primary care doctors

Gun violence has been discussed bipartisanly since the occurrence of the many recent school shootings. There has been a back and forth conflict about restricting guns, taking them away, arming teachers and all other arguments that have been circling around social media. As a college student, I feel that one thing needs to be considered above everything and that is the safety of children in school. Not only the issue of the safety of children in schools but the safety of every other individual that stands on this earth. I believe this conversation about who should have guns and why they should have guns is extremely important, but it is overshadowing another key area of this entire debate, mental health. A friend of mine was a strong spirit who brought pure joy and care into our lives. She always made everyone laugh, you could hardly keep a smile off of your face around her. However, she was very good at hiding her feelings and how she was truly doing. She had previously attempted suicide a few short years ago. Unfortunately, even though her very recent attempt at taking her own life was present in her medical records, she was still able to legally obtain a firearm and complete suicide. Healthcare facilities and doctors are not required to release medical records to companies who sell firearms. If this were not the case, my friend could have potentially been blockaded from taking her own life. Not only could the knowledge of her medical history potentially have helped her stray from the path she took, but if her primary care doctor was made aware of how she was truly doing, there could have potentially been another source of prevention. Nearly 2/3 of all gun deaths in the United States are suicides. This statistic should shed light on why as a country we need to discuss mental health and its involvement in gun violence. Mental health is an area of study that remains taboo in many areas of our society. The only aspects of mental health that people seem to be accepting are light anxieties and mild depressions. However, when the depths of mental illness come to the surface, that is when people begin to run away from what truly lies beneath. People run at the thought of someone having PTSD or schizophrenia. Dissociative identity disorder or antisocial personality disorder causes people to cower in fear of their diagnosed peers. Why does mental health have to be such a hush-hush topic? This needs to come to an end. Our society needs to take action and bring mental health support to the surface. By creating a discussion on mental health and raising awareness of the impacts it can have on people, we not only as a society will create a more safe environment for individuals who have these illnesses, but there will be a prevention of future harm for these people and those surrounding them. The first step to making this happen is the creation of mental health screenings that would be required and administered by all primary care providers to all of their patients at checkups. Every primary care doctor must screen their patients’ mental health, just as they take their blood pressure and check their weight. This does not mean that primary care doctors will become psychologists or psychiatrists, this simply means a general screening will take place to allow primary care doctors to determine whether or not their patient should be referred to a mental health specialist. Mental health checkups should be as routine as checks for heart issues because the mind and heart are equally important, as one cannot live with just one or the other, so let’s start treating our brains the way we treat our hearts. These screenings/assessments would be similar to those on the first day a patient begins treatment with a psychologist/psychiatrist. The administration of screenings in this way will allow individuals who a) may not be aware of any mental health issues they have or b) may not have prior access to mental health care, to potentially receive the treatment they need and deserve to keep their mental health in check. This screening would not just be the already administered, “have you had thoughts of suicide, hurting yourself or others.” This screening would entail a more in-depth analysis of a person’s well-being and mental health status. Not only will this create an environment where individuals can receive the help and care they deserve, but it will allow future risks to individuals or others around them to decrease compared to if they were not receiving treatment for these potential mental health issues. I feel that the enactment of a bill regarding this subject would create a better environment for those impacted by mental illnesses and those around them.

Sophia Carter
23 supporters
Started 1 month ago

Petition to Department of Education, Department of Homeland Security, California State University, California State University Los Angeles, Dianne Feinstein, Kamala D. Harris, Gavin Newsom, Eric Garcetti

Demand CSULA to Provide Active Shooting Protocols and Updated Safety Measures

We are writing to you as a representation of the student and employee body at California State University, Los Angeles. We are demanding our local representatives, Cal State LA Administration, the Cal State LA Public Safety Advisory, and specifically the Department of Public Safety to provide direct, proper, and timely information, updates, procedures, and training in regards to any potential danger at Cal State LA that is a threat to the lives of its students, staff, and faculty.  In the past eight days, Cal State LA has received three threats to the campus, two of which were identified as shooting threats, and one undisclosed graffiti threat. The first threat on October 29th was only made known to the student body approximately two hours after the initial threat was called in, with many students reporting they did not receive any texts alerts, emails, or information regarding the incident whatsoever. When the second threat took place on November 4th, students that were lucky were notified that there was an active threat to the library, but that the source was “unknown” and to “be alert”; somehow, the unknown threat was significant enough to caution students to be alert, but not to evacuate the library or even notify everyone of potential danger. A few hours later, Cal State LA sent out an email with information regarding the threat, but it was reported that many students did not receive this email as well. A briefing of the most recent threat on November 6th was sent out to students from approximately 7-8pm, describing a “future threat” found written in a campus bathroom. With no further details provided, we were assured that there was “no immediate threat” and that campus is “safe.” How the seriousness of a threat and subsequent “safety” of campus is determined is not information that is provided or accessible to students, staff, or faculty. The vague, untimely, and lack of alerts sent by the school have caused anxiety, mass hysteria, and rumors to circulate across campus. We all have questions and genuine concerns for our safety that are not being addressed.  Amidst all of the confusion and uncertainty, one thing is clear: there has been a large display of carelessness on the part of Cal State LA and the Department of Public Safety that has directly put individuals’ lives as risk. We deserve to know when and what to do if there is a direct threat to our lives, in a climate where gun violence and mass shootings in schools are such common occurrences. At Cal State LA, we are calling for: Active shooter training for all University employees Active shooter procedures for all students and employees taught and posted visibly in every room Locks on all classroom and office doors in every building Doors that swing inside only One ‘active shooter drill’ every semester Updates to the text alert system that ensures every student and employee receives a notification at the exact time of administrative knowledge of a threat Live tweeting from a University twitter account (or through the GET app) during any potential/real threat providing all known information, and addressing rumors  Transparency from administration in informing students and employees of the procedures for determining the viability of a threat Time is of the essence and these minimal requests are extremely reasonable and valid, especially at a time when gun violence and mass shootings are so prevalent in America. Many students do not feel safe and are extremely dissatisfied with the way this situation has been handled. Safety should be a top priority of the University and we deserve transparency and respect when our lives may be in danger. We demand our requests be addressed, implemented, and our voices heard as we are speaking in the best interest of all students, faculty, and staff at Cal State LA.

Alexis Adams
2,537 supporters