I am Mark Follman and I’ve spent a decade investigating mass shootings and how to stop them. AMA!
Hi, I’m a journalist and author of the new book, Trigger Points: Inside the Mission to Stop Mass Shootings in America. Long ago, probably like most of you, I grew weary of “thoughts and prayers” and the dug-in political stalemate over guns. Why do we keep going in circles? Left, right, or center, surely there’s more we can do to solve this problem, right?
As I looked into dozens of shootings to understand them better, I learned something that transcended the contentious political debate: many are also being prevented. Behavioral threat assessment combines mental health and law enforcement expertise to intervene with people who are planning violence. The method raises fascinating questions about how to handle people who are turning dangerous, from building awareness of warning signs to the growing use of “red flag” gun laws. I got to know this field’s pioneers and even some mass shooting survivors involved, and I’m excited to share what I learned with you—going beyond the same old gun arguments.
Here's one question: Instead of arming teachers or freaking out school kids with so many active shooter drills, what if we did more active shooter prevention?
UPDATE, 3pm ET: OK, well this was supposed to last an hour, but three have since melted away! I really enjoyed it and appreciated all the smart questions. That's all the time I have for now -- but I'll check back later and see if I can squeeze in a few more. Thanks for your interest and all the great conversation! -Mark