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.



900 more “men of color” dead in 2016 vs. 2015

From the WSJ, 10/24/16, “The Myth of the Racist Cop” by Heather MacDonald.

The BLM movement shouts that policing is “biased and violent and unfair.” In certain instances, a rarity, statistically insignificant overall, (But certainly not to those who are affected) that is true. It is also true that violence toward businesses, cops, our citizenry by agitators whose goal is not justice, but vegence-fun-looting-etc. If you believe in non-violent protest as MLK, Ghandi and many others have shown the way, then what has happened is shameful. Many leaders in DC give cover to the BLMers, shame on them.

900 more black men have been killed this year. Most of them have been killed by other black males, not police. If black live really matter, why aren’t we hearing and seeing the same kind of anger and protests about this horrific carnage? Homicides are up 12% nationally, 47% more police officers have been killed this year. Chicago is a battlefield, assaults in Chicago on police are up 100%, 23% up in NYC. These assaults are on officers of all races, genders.

“The BLM narrative about an epidemic of racially based police shootings is false. Four studies published this year showed that if there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites,” says the WSJ article.

As usual, a small minority of people whose motives are insurrection, willful damage and injury get all the headlines.  Calmer heads must prevail so that unfair treatment is investigated and those responsible have consequences for their actions. The media is way too passive not criticizing the lawlessness we have seen over the past couple of years.

“Europe’s Terror Storm”

WSJ, July 27, 2016, on the editorial page.

There are lots of theories about why anyone would walk into a church and slit the throat of an 87 year old catholic priest, and what to do about it.

The Catholic church where the murder took place donated the land for the establishment of the mosque where the attackers came from. (The very mosque that nurtured this murderous group of terrorists was built on a plot of land donated as a gesture of good will by the little parish of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray! Yes, the conciliar Catholics of that little parish donated the land for the mosque that their attackers attended. (source). We should reach out to all people in love and not strike out in retaliation blindly.

My view is we are not fighting people, we are fighting an idea. We are not confronting the idea, we are afraid to offend 2 billion Muslims.

Well, the world doesn’t seem to have a problem of offending 13 million Jews, half of which live in the U.S.  The Muslims don’t have a problem criticizing the 2 billion Christians in the world, driving them out of various Muslim majority geographies around the world.

Can you say, as we should, all of us are made by the same creator, and the ultimate goal is for all people to live in harmony and love. Does it matter what each of us calls the creator, or how we worship? Would those Muslims that live in peace with others really object to pronouncing that those who kill to force others to believe the way they do should be denounced and prevented from killing? Well the literature seems to say they won’t be offended.

So, do we with force prevent people from killing us, with regret yes. But more important is we start talking about why it is wrong for people to accept the line that killing for Allah is a good thing.

Our laws allow us to put those in jail who advocate the violent overthrow of our government.

Does imposing Sharia in the U.S. and installing a mullah as the dude in charge qualify?  Seems so to me.

Three Good Men Talk About Race

The title of an editorial by Peggy Noonan in the July 16-17 WSJ.   Worth the read.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown. “I am running on fumes…we are asking the police to do too much…take care of mentally ill down loose dogs…take care of over indulging drug users……..”

He goes on to say, “We’re hiring. Get off that protest line and put an application in. We’ll put you in your neighborhood and we’ll help you resolve some the the problems your’re protesting about.”

But griping, pointing fingers, blaming is much more fun. The other two men, both with African heritage, talked about their experiences and without a doubt there is prejudice in our country, along with all countries, from the beginning of time. The action is what we do about it.

Police Officers’ Lives Matter. Civilians Lives Matter. All Lives Matter.

Can we come together and talk about how to make it a bit better rather than pointing fingers? My mom always said, “When you point your finger, four are pointing back at you.”  It still applies.

The Anti-Israel Poisoning Starts Young

The title above is from the WSJ of May 18, 2016 by Micah Lakin Avni.  A heartbreaking story of a “kind, dedicated teacher”, his father Richard Larkin, who emigrated to Israel from the U.S. and taught English to Arabs and Jews. He was 76 when two men boarded the bus he was on and started killing all they could. He passed later while in the hospital.

Mr. Avni offered to share his fathers’ life and purpose at the elementary school where the father of one of the assailants had just spoken, praising his sons’ killing of Jews. His offer was refused. So those children were not given the opportunity to listen to a story of love and service, instead the story of hate and violence.

Richard Larkin told his son, “I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”

Revenge, hate, et al, produce nothing. Loving produces good. May Mr. Larkin rest in peace and Mr. Avni continue to love as the Abrahamic tradition teaches us all.

All Lives Matter

Any killing of another human is reprehensible. Why is it that the killing of a person of color is seen as different.  No wait, it is different only if the person of color was killed by a person of not the same color.

According to a study by Heather McDonald (Thomas W. Smith Fellow; Manhattan Institute) released in April of 2016 the data shows the overwhelming violent deaths of black Americans are the hands of people of a similar race. Of the 987 civilians killed by police, 50% were white, 25% were black. Our problem isn’t the very low percentage of police who shouldn’t be police, but the lack of leadership and efforts in the black community to root out violence. Come on Reverend Al, step up and talk about this!

Over the last two decades murder rates have dropped precipitously across the country, NYC by 85%.  Community based policing, Compstat, Stop and Frisk, etc. has worked.  In NYC, if the old crime rates were still happening, 10,000 more black males would be dead. Yet, there is protest about the police!

If you ask the residents of areas plagued by violent crime they want the protection they deserve, yet, what we see on TV is protests, chants about burning pigs, looting, etc.  The facts don’t matter.

The “Ferguson Effect” is a fact, and murder rates are rising.

When  police department is acting in a discriminatory fashion, there are ways to fix it other than violence. Leadership is the key.  When the mayor tells the police to pull away and not arrest looters, not a good deal.

Can we focus on the data please.