Case studies of individuals threatening mass violence suggest that extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs), colloquially known as ‘red flag’ orders; so may play a role in preventing mass shootings. An aggregate summary and individual histories for a preliminary series of 21 cases are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Preventing mass shootings
Urgent, individualized interventions to reduce firearm access, such as extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs, colloquially known as “red flag” orders), provide a rapid; focus response when risk for imminent firearm violence is high. Studies to date suggest such interventions are most commonly used to prevent suicide and are effective.
Nearly 80% of perpetrators of mass violence in public places make explicit threats or behave in a manner “indicative of their intent to carry out an attack.” For example, the shooters in the infamous Parkland, Aurora, and Tucson events, among others, were known by family members, acquaintances, law enforcemenT; also in some cases, health care professionals, to be at high risk for violence.
ERPOs provide a rapid, focus response when risk of imminent firearm violence is high. Studies suggest that these interventions are effective at preventing suicide; but their efficacy in preventing mass shootings is not know. To date, there have been only two report cases of ERPO use in efforts to prevent mass shootings. California enact the nation’s first ERPO statue; which took effect in January 2016.
The Violence Prevention
Researchers from the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis School of Medicine sought to evaluate the California statute’s implementation and effectiveness by reviewing court cases for persons subject to the orders. Of 414 cases, the authors receive 159 and develop an aggregate summary and individual histories for a preliminary series of 21 cases.
Their research show that most subjects were male and non-Hispanic white and the mean age was 35. Most subjects made explicit threats and own firearms. Four cases arose primarily in relation to medical or mental health conditions; also such conditions were note in four others. Fifty-two firearms were recover. The researchers conduct print, broadcast; also Internet media Google searches using the subjects’ names and locations to determine; so if they were the perpetrators of any violent events from the date of the order.
As of early August 2019, none of the threat shootings had occurred; also no other homicides or suicides by persons subject to the orders were identify. According to the authors, these cases suggest that this urgent; which individualize intervention has a role to play in efforts to prevent mass shootings, in healthcare settings and elsewhere. They believe that further research would be helpful in determining definitively the effectiveness of such orders.