October 7, 2019
Recently, as a member of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill attended the 10th national summit titled “The New Norm: Mass Shootings in America.”
In opening remarks on October 4, 2019, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said the purpose of the summit was to learn and understand the facts and science around all aspects of a mass shooting so prosecutors can identify best practices and support legislative change at a local and federal level.
Feuer, who is currently co-chair of PAGV with Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, highlighted the summit DA Underhill hosted in 2015 on domestic violence and gun crimes, which focused on firearm dispossession and recovery and protocols for getting firearms out of the hands of abusers.
From that summit, Feuer said, prosecutors across the country came together and established a blueprint on how to get guns away from domestic violence abusers in all jurisdictions. The summit was so significant that the Obama administration tweeted about it and the PAGV organization presented at the White House.
Vance said as he was growing up, political assassinations paralyzed the country, but now the fear of not knowing when the next mass shooting may occur is paralyzing the country.
“Preventing a mass shooting is something we all want to do,” Vance said in his opening remarks. “[A mass shooting event] could be in a small community, it could be in a large community. We want to lend our unified voice to finding a solution.”
Vance said prosecutors have a critical role when a mass shooting occurs.
“Mass shootings are not going away and neither are we,” Vance said.
“The New Norm: Mass Shootings in America” summit was held in Las Vegas, Nevada and hosted by Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson — two years after the deadliest mass shooting in United States history occurred in 2017 during a musical festival.
Wolfson said Las Vegas forever changed. They joined other communities, bonded by a tragedy and identified by a social media hashtag. In the Las Vegas shooting, 58 people were murdered and 850 other individuals were injured by a shooter who fired 1,100 rounds.
“Think about the numbers,” Wolfson said. “As a community, we continue to learn and heal. …We have to recognize [mass shootings] will happen again and that’s why we are having this summit.”
The summit included multiple speakers who shared the lessons they’ve learned after responding to mass shootings in their communities and explained the role a prosecutor has after a mass shooting occurs. Other experts spoke about the psychological profile of a mass shooter.
“We hope Multnomah County never experiences a mass shooting, but we have to be prepared and this summit provided a tremendous amount of information on prevention, behavioral health, threat assessment, event response and of course — victim care,” DA Underhill said.
Brent Weisberg, Communications Director
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office