by John Hnatio
On April 22, 2016, eight people were shot dead in a spree shooting in Piketon, Ohio. The same day, six people were shot dead in in Appling, Georgia in a shooting spree of domestic violence. May 5, 2016, five people were shot dead in their house in Moultrie Georgia. June 11, 2016, a family of five was killed in a domestic mass shooting in Roswell, New Mexico. June 12, 2016, 50 people were killed and 53 wounded at a gay bar in Orlando Florida. Five police officers died and another seven were wounded by a sniper seeking “payback” against white police officers in Dallas Texas on July 7, 2016. In total, 233 people have been killed and another 688 wounded in mass shootings so far in 2016.[i]
When the mass shootings involve children at school or are just too large to ignore, President Obama gets on television to express remorse at the loss of life of the innocent victims of mass violence. Some people say that it’s the result of mentally ill people getting a hold of guns. Others say it is the result of racial hatred. Still others say it is the result of religious intolerance or terrorism. But, in fact, there is only one thing certain about the epidemic of violence in America and that is how quickly we forget and how little concerted action is being taken to address the problem.
As we have said so many times before at this web site, being sorry for the victims is not enough. Instead of outrage, too many people including our political leaders are sitting back kicking the mass violence can down the road. There is no plan of action to reduce the violence. There is no serious dialogue taking place on how to effectively balance the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens against public safety. Instead, there are only short memories, divisiveness and a shrugging of shoulders.
Over the next few weeks we will be reaching out to black, white and Latino leaders across the government, the faith-based community and our politicians as we create a national committee on preventing mass violence in America to present to our next President. Our goal will be to create an apolitical dialogue among a group of diverse stakeholders to devise a national plan of action.
Together, people on all sides of the issue will be asked to partake in a dialogue of give and take to create a national plan of action. We will achieve consensus on the appropriate balance between the Second Amendment and preventing mass violence no matter what the source. We will consider the needs of the American mental health system for intervening in situations where people need help. We will talk about the role of law enforcement and the Department of Justice in America to build faith in our system of justice and the need to mend relationships with communities across the country.
To do the job, we will rely on 21st century tools like the internet to seek the individual inputs of citizens like you through a blog dedicated to the purpose and through the use of web-based surveys and other tools. We will post the results of our efforts at the John Galt Program for Investigative Studies (JGPIS) and at our National School Collaboratory (NSSC) web sites.
To move forward on this critical effort we will seek contributions from individuals, faith based organizations, corporations and other organizations who are willing to contribute to the cause of curbing mass violence in America. Please join us.
John H. Hnatio, EdD, PhD
Institute for Complexity Management
[i] Gun violence archive. (July 10, 2016) As retrieved from the World Wide Web on July 10, 2016, at: http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting