Why are there so many mass shootings in the USA?

written by Matt Andrews, Mark Moore, Lant Pritchett and Salimah Samji

This is a crowdsourcing effort to understand why … and to help foster a common response.

Many governments lack the capabilities to play the roles needed for their countries to work well and prosper. These capabilities are often missing because policy-makers cannot agree on the ‘solutions’ they need, and thus fail to invest in the capabilities they must develop to make needed solutions work.

This manifests in policy passivity, where policymakers fail to identify or resource the policy vehicles needed to address social needs. This then leads to problems that persist over time.

Mass shootings are just such problem, persisting—and even growing—in the United States, where government seems to lack the answers—or even capabilities—to respond.

We don’t usually work on the USA—our focus is on developing countries—but we live in the USA and feel the real grief and helplessness of the citizens affected by this problem, and the many policymakers we see trying to address the problem-; especially in the last few days, given the tragic recent event at a school in Florida. We watched on TV as the superintendent responsible for that school asked for help in finding and addressing ‘the root causes of this problem’.

We have found that there are ways of engaging in these frustrating, helpless situations, and the starting point is usually in identifying root causes of the problem—by convening a broad, evidence-based conversation about ‘why’ the problem is happening. Different groups can come together around hard policy issues and problems when all are asked, ‘Why is this problem being caused? What evidence do you have about the cause? And where does your evidence come from?’

We take the answers to these questions—as inclusively as possible—and include them into graphic descriptions of the problem—like Ishikawa or fishbone diagrams. These diagrams help to show what are always MANY different legitimate and real and important causes of pressing and persistent problems, and allow a broad discussion of these problems in a nonpartisan way. These diagrams also help identify constructive entry points to start solving the problem—one root cause at a time—again in a nonpartisan, practical way.

We would like to crowdsource a broad discussion on the mass shooting problem in the USA to identify these root causes and build a nonpartisan, inclusive, and actionable viewpoint on the problem. And to this end we invite you to help. Please click on this link, and tell us WHY YOU THINK THE UNITED STATES HAS MORE MASS SHOOTINGS THAN ANY OTHER DEVELOPED NATION. You can offer your thoughts as an anonymous commentator or offer your name. We will take your views and add them to others’ views to build a broad picture of the root cause of this problem. We will then see where the discussion goes.

 

2 thoughts on “Why are there so many mass shootings in the USA?”

  1. I have to disagree with your basic premise first of all. “Many governments lack the capabilities to play the roles needed for their countries to work well and prosper. These capabilities are often missing because policy-makers cannot agree on ‘solutions’ they need, and thus fail to invest in the capabilities they must develop to make needed solutions work.”All governments are capable of seeing their respective countries prosper. The problem is those in power agree all too well in the right of property. The well being of the many is subordinated to the whims and caprices of those that can afford to bribe and terrorize.Those that have been vetted to enter the political arena seek to compromise over issues any rational thinker knows are irreconcilable. They act out a role in an elaborate charade. Mentally ill mass murderers learn by example. Nobody wants to bend to your will? Get a bigger stick. Whose going to stop them?

  2. Easy availability of guns with large capacity magazines, no background checks at gun shows, the refusal of the NRA to ban above-mentioned guns or to allow even limited restrictions on firearms, a culture that seems to value individual freedom over the greater good of society

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