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Private Sector Innovation Needed to Address Mass Shootings

Thanks to a new law that went into effect last month, college students starting a new school year in Texas will be greeted with the newest in campus mainstays: concealed weapons.

Texas’ “campus carry” law for the first time allows students to carry firearms on campus. Defended by Second Amendment advocates as “constitutionally sound,” opponents of the law are calling it “dangerously experimental” and “unsafe” — people like John Fox, a survivor of the 1966 University of Texas shooting.

The debate raging in Texas is being waged everywhere — in cities like Orlando, communities like Newtown, Conn., and even on the campaign trail — reinforcing one certainty: Mass shootings are becoming as American as apple pie. From churches to nightclubs to college campuses, the debate rages on, and with no clear solution.

In the absence of a policy solution, or a bipartisan path forward, elected leaders have a moral and social obligation to develop a federal response plan that treats mass shootings in the same manner as other national disasters. We don’t know when they will happen or where they will happen, but we know they will happen and we must be prepared to respond with a new and modern approach built around the power of risk mitigation and insurance programs.

True, an insurance policy can’t prevent a shooter from taking innocent lives — in the same way car insurance can’t prevent auto accidents — but it does implement minimum standards and ensures that in the wake of tragedy, people have the resources, support and tools they need to recover, heal and move forward.

Central to that support is financial resiliency.

The aftermath of any tragedy leaves survivors coping with loss and emotional distress. In the case of mass shootings, survivors are further confronted with financial obstacles spurred by costs associated with funeral arrangements, therapy, and loss of income.

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