SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (KCAU)– A recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that more than half of Americans do not feel safe from gun violence in their community, and mass casualty incidents partly contribute to that fear.
We’re just over 100 days into 2023, but there have been 150 mass shootings in the U.S, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
“I think there might be some people that they change their lifestyle behaviors and their lifestyle choices, because of the fear. And that would look something like, they’re not going out and doing things they normally would want to do because of a fear of something like this happening,” said Jessica Barnes, community services director with Heartland Counseling Services.
To help folks cope with the idea of a mass shooting, Jessica Barnes with the Heartland Counseling Services says there are a few ways to tackle this fear.
“I think in general when we talk to people or work with people about anxiety or specific fears. It’s about there’s a lot of things that we can’t control. and so it’s really about trying to hone in and focus on what we can control,” said Barnes
Barnes recommends Siouxlanders dealing with this fear to make a plan for an event like a mass shooting if it does happen.
“Once they do that. trying to kinda set it aside and live your life and continue to do things you would do, knowing that you’re as prepared as you can be,” said Barnes
The Sioux City Police Department is also prepared for mass casualty incidents.
“We’re constantly training for this scenario, our swat team is constantly training. We have the luxury of having swat teams and our swat officers pretty much work on every shift,” said Sergeant Thomas Gill, with the Sioux City Police Department.
Barnes says mental health is extremely important for everyone, but it’s often overlooked.
“You know what’s normal for them and what’s typical. And so anytime there’s significant changes or more erratic behavior, certainly that’s not an indicator necessarily that they’re planning to carry out some type of mass shooting, but that would be one thing to kinda know they’re not maybe doing well,” said Barnes.
Barnes says a loved one may not always tell you they’re having thoughts of violence, so watch for significant behavior changes and get them professional help, if you feel there’s a potential for danger.