“Not Again.” The headlines reflect what we are all thinking. Yet another mass shooting. Yet another school shooting. Yet another loss of 17 innocent lives.
Between 1967 and 2017, there were 146 mass shootings with an average of 8 people killed. Evidence shows that the rate of mass shootings has tripled since 2012 to a current rate of approximately one a month for the last year. Yet there are no comprehensive proposals to eliminate the problem.
To solve this problem we have to THINK BIGGER and REACH HIGHER.
NOTE: The purpose of this post is to identify a process to solve this problem. While I wish I could lay out an effective solution,I cannot. However, if we start thinking about this problem differently and then take the appropriate action, I do believe we can solve this problem.
Mass shootings are not a simple problem and comprehensive problems are not solved with a simple solution. That is a simple statement that many are not grasping. Too many are implementing a very narrow thinking process. Let’s examine why we have not been able to solve the problem of mass shootings to this point. To do so, let’s look at the problem from several perspectives.
Narrow Perspective #1: Guns should be Banned
Some see that guns are used and immediately think guns should be banned. While I suspect a comprehensive and effective solution will involve addressing gun control, that is not the entire answer.
Narrow Perspective #2: Guns are Not the Problem.
The NRA and their supporters refuse to believe that guns are part of the problem so they refuse to engage the discussion. We will never solve the problem when we refuse to consider all possible parts of the problem.
Narrow Perspective #3: The Only Solution is Legislation
Some believe the only way to solve the problem is through legislation. I suspect a comprehensive review will indicate far more than legislation will be required. Legislation is important is setting standards but a comprehensive solution involves ranging from education to religion to entertainment and sports.
Narrow Perspective #4: There is No Solution, Nothing Can be Done
Some assume nothing can be done because it is just the way things are or that they are just part of our culture. Obviously doing nothing does nothing to solve the problem.
Narrow Perspective #5: It Hasn’t Affected Me so I won’t Get Involved
Some believe that since it hasn’t affected them, they won’t get involved. We in the United States were not real concerned about terrorism until 9/11. In the same way, we don’t seem to think it is important enough to act on mass shootings until it disrupts our way of life. That sound’s callous but if we are thinking comprehensively, we have to address it.
Narrow Perspective #6: It’s Too Difficult
Some won’t address the issue because it is too difficult to think comprehensively. We live in a world of instant gratification and solving complex problems often takes time. But as John Kennedy said,
“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
Narrow Perspective #7: Someone Else Needs to Solve It
It is easy to blame others for a persisting problem, especially when we have paid leaders for that purpose. However, if we have hired someone to solve a problem and they haven’t fixed it, why haven’t they been fired? We need to think bigger and reach higher when it comes to electing leaders if they are not solving our problems.
But this last narrow perspective may be the most troublesome because many of us are very angry about mass shootings but we haven’t done enough. That means me too. You and I need to do more than just tell someone else to fix it. We need to do more than share a post on Facebook or go on a rant in a blog. We need to see the problem differently. It isn’t them – it is us – it is me.
There are other perspectives that are also narrow but I’ll leave it there for today. I know you grasp the issue. To solve the problems of mass shootings we must think much more comprehensively.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be discussing this further, as well as discussing a variety of topics where we need to think bigger and reach higher. Follow this blog and join the discussion.
(c) Loren Murfield, PhD 2018
Loren Murfield, PhD.
I’m a Strategic Adviser, helping leaders think bigger and reach higher to disrupt the status quo. What problems are you struggling with that I can help you solve? Contact me today.