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Pandemic, other factors could explain increase of mass shootings, professor says

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WISH) — A University of Indianapolis Public Health professor is giving an inside perspective as to the increase in mass shootings and how the pandemic could play a role. 

The combination of isolation, loss and easy access to guns is a dangerous mix, said professor Dr. Heidi Hancher-Rauch.

She says we’re not likely to see a decrease in mass shootings, especially with the situation the country is in right now. Stress, anxiety and missing loved ones has made it hard on people to grieve in a normal manner. 

Dr. Hancher-Rauch says if someone is already stifling with mental health and doesn’t know where or how to get help, it’s the perfect storm for someone who is prone to triggers for violence. This also makes it hard for those struggling to function normally. 

The UIndy professor says mental health infrastructure needs to be in place and covered by insurance. 

“The history of insanity is to continue to do the same thing over and over and expect different results,” Dr. Hancher-Rauch said. “If we don’t make changes, we’re not going to see a reduction in the violence that we are already seeing.” 

Indians legislators have multiple pro-gun policies being considered right now. One would eliminate the need for a license to carry in public. The other would extend the rights to the Stand Your Ground Law, which says that individuals have the right to use reasonable force, including deadly force, to protect themselves against an intruder in their home.