Mass Shootings

Root Cause Failure Analysis, Mass shootings

May 2022


Root cause and failure analysis (RCFA) is the process for investigating the root cause of a failure in a product, process, or service and using the information to develop and implement a change to prevent recurrence of the failure.

Mass shootings needs RCFA, obviously.

The last couple of decades have seen a rapid increase in the frequency of these horrible events. Some blame guns, others blame mental health, others blame everyone on the other side of the aisle versus themselves.

I am not an expert. I am a gun owner who practices on a regular basis, former active-duty USMC, and a member of the NRA who carries a pistol with a concealed carry permit.

Some will stop reading. If you do, you are part of the problem. Others will look forward to what is coming and be angry. No matter. Give me a chance.

  1. The 60’s produced secular and social movements that in my mind began to undermine the foundation of civility and accountability for personal actions that allowed many other policies to be put in place to reduce the identification of folks who might do such things. Our society needed many of the changes produced in this era, but like all change many went too far.
    1. Family cohesiveness has been attacked and has been badly damaged. All the of the disturbed individuals who have done such horrific things come from unsettled, abusive, uncaring, etc. families. Government policies that encourage dependence outside of the family are part of the problem. Religion has always focused on family cohesiveness and accountability; secular movements have not replaced this focus.
    2. Partisanship and contempt for the other opinion prevents a moderation of views, compromise is now a dirty word-from both sides of the aisle politically. This seeps down into society; it is OK to treat others with contempt. Both sides use verbiage of conflict versus compromise.
    3. Abortion has set men free from any responsibility if sex produces a child. The woman is totally responsible. Child support from the man should start at conception, not birth. Single parents can do a wonderful job raising children, but statistically those children have a much harder time as adults.
  2. Guns don’t kill, people do. A common claim from many, and it is true. These shootings have occurred in states with very strict gun laws, and in those that don’t. So gun control isn’t the answer, it is however important.
    1. Parents who own guns that are used in committing a crime should be held liable for damages.
    2. Red flag laws should be in place to give someone who is concerned a path to report them to law enforcement.
    3. Anyone who carries a firearm must complete the same qualification and re-certification as law enforcement. This certification must be performed by licensed facilities, and they are required to report suspicious activity as a red flag.
    4. Gun dealers should be required to inquire as to what a firearm is going to be used for, or larger purchases of ammunition, an also report red flags.
    5. Private sales of firearms should be reported as gun dealers do. Maybe even perform the background check for a nominal fee.
    6. Automatic weapons should remain highly regulated.
    7. Banning all guns, as some propose, would create such civil unrest it is unimaginable in a free society.
  3. Mental health. An issue both sides of the aisle have avoided. This is obviously time to act. The move to stop institutionalizing people had some logic behind it. But we have gone too far. Look at the homeless issue we face, some say lock them all up, others say they have a right to defecate on a sidewalk. Surely both sides see the need to compromise.
    1. Resume commitment authority to the mental health professionals, fund it, and out-patient facilities; ensure meds are taken as prescribed, etc. If meds aren’t taken as prescribed, that is what institutions are for. They are certainly taken as prescribed while incarcerated.
    2. We have seen mass shooters released by mental health professionals just before they kill, how come? The professions need to look hard at their standards of care, discipline those who refuse to comply, ensure liability is assigned to whomever dropped the ball. Prosecute those who disobey the law-mental health professionals, prosecutors, defense attorneys, a legislature, congress.
    3. School counselors must have the direction to identify those kids who display many of the indicators seen in teens that kill, anti-social behavior-alienation-being bullied-etc.
    4. The wall street journal on 5/26/22 editorial on the Uvalde shooting, a quote, “..society may have to adapt by rethinking our hands-off attitudes to antisocial behavior and mental illness.”  I agree
    5. Stop placing the burden of mental health on law enforcement and incarceration. That is the only thing I agreed with during the recent “Defund the Police” B.S.
  4. Background checks. Well, we know that they always don’t work due to lack of sharing of information, or there is no prior issue with someone. They should be done.
  5. I am in favor of teachers who are qualified as law enforcement having weapons in the classroom.
  6. Hardening schools is closing the door after the horses are out, a determined killer will not be stopped by this. But, one well-armed guard, trained to handle these type situations could have prevented some of the past shootings.

We are dumbfounded as to why these things happen. We shouldn’t be, we are all guilty in a way. By allowing our partisanship and contempt to prevent compromise. Politicians are creatures of getting re-elected, we the citizens are the only ones that can cause change to happen by telling them to compromise.

RCFA is the way to fix a problem, so it truly goes away. Our societal and political cultures work against solving this problem. Sad.

Finally, a prayer for all those who grieve in times like this, the victims of senseless violence-not just those who seem to get media attention, but the many thousands killed in a year-and also for the perpetrators, whom we must also love, as God loves us.



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