SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A three day conference in San Diego aims to prevent violence.
The goal of the 22nd Annual International Family Justice Center Conference is to bring professionals from across the nation together, to discuss how to help victims, minimize trauma and understand it to prevent shootings like the one that happened on Tuesday in Texas.
The sold-out event will host more than 600 professionals from across the US as they try to make real change.
“We can intervene early to stop these kind of shootings," said Casey Gwinn. "We are just not doing it in most of America.”
Gwinn, the President of the Alliance for HOPE International, and named one of the top public lawyers in the US, says at the root of every crime, abuse, and mass shooting, like the one in Uldave, Texas is trauma.
“We are not identifying kids that have been exposed to trauma and abuse and adversity," said Gwinn. "And I guarantee you that when Ramos story comes out there’s going to be childhood trauma and probably a level of rage in his life that never got addressed.”
It's a reality Mildred Muhammad can attest too.
Her ex-husband was John Allen Muhammad, also known as the DC Sniper. Muhammad worked with a teenage accomplice to kill dozens of people, while Mildred was at home suffering domestic abuse.
“There are studies that prove that the shooter starts at home first, as in this incident, the young man shot his grandmother and then he went out to kill children. Most abuses of domestic start at home as in my case, and then spread into the community," said Midlred. "And it’s important to understand what the dynamics of having a gun is and why it’s the first tool that’s used in order to destroy other families.”
This conference will focus on strategic solutions to early interventions with kids who have underwent trauma, how to go after those who commit the violence, and develop hope-centered practices to help all involved.
“People’s ability after they grieved, after they have gone through unimaginable loss, there has to come a point where they are ready to say, 'Okay. This is going to matter for some reason in my life, or this is going to allow me to do this, make a difference here'.”
Professionals in therapy, classroom settings, law enforcement, and prisons will spend three days in seminars and workshops discussing how they can re-assess old ideas and techniques.
“Some of the things that used to work, don’t work anymore," said Mildred.
Gwinn says they will also work together to prevent more violence from taking place, “Pain turns into power. And there will come a day, I hope and pray where this kind of a shooting finally mobilizes people to say we gotta deal with guns and get them away from traumatized mentally-ill dangerous people."
He furthers, "we have to deal with trauma of children impacted by all kinds of adversity. Because if we don’t we are just going to see the next shooting and the next shooting and the next shooting.”
Gwinn shares that another focus area is on strangulation techniques. He says the majority of mass shooters in the US have a history of strangulation. Attendees at the conference will be learning best practices in identifying behaviors and patterns.