Justice Counts-Finding Solutions to Mass Shootings - 4:21:23, 1.21 PM

Justice Counts-Finding Solutions to Mass Shootings - 4:21:23, 1.21 PM
21 de abr. de 2023 · 57m 23s

On Monday morning, March 27th, 2023, three nine year-old kids and three adults were gunned down by a shooter who opened fire at the Covenant Presbyterian church school in Nashville,...

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On Monday morning, March 27th, 2023, three nine year-old kids and three adults were gunned down by a shooter who opened fire at the Covenant Presbyterian church school in Nashville, Tennessee.

The children were students; the adults were staff members. One little girl, Hallie, was the daughter of the lead pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church, which is connected to the school.

We’ve learned that the shooter was receiving treatment for “an emotional disorder” but was able to legally purchase seven weapons, including the two AR-15 type rifles and a handgun used in the school shooting, from five local gun stores. Her motives for the slaughter were not immediately made clear.

The massacre was just the latest in a chain of shootings that just over the last year have left dozens dead and injured in attacks in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, California; Chesapeake, Virginia, Colorado Springs, Highland Park, Illinois, Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York among other places.

As in Nashville, researchers found that shooters tended to alarm people around them, often signaling their plan in advance. Generally, they purchased their weapons legally. After the Nashville tragedy, the chaplain of the U.S. Senate urged lawmakers to “move beyond thoughts and prayers.”

President Biden said he had exhausted his executive powers to deal with guns and said Congress should pass an assault weapons ban, saying “there’s a moral price to pay for inaction.”

But Republican lawmakers demonstrate little or no support for that legislation. They control the House and reiterated their opposition to actions that would restrict access to guns, saying that mental health issues are the root cause of the gun violence problem in America.

That’s why today attorney, author and Justice Counts podcast host Mark Bello and I are proud to present clinical psychologist Dr. Emily Bashah and political expert Paul Johnson, former mayor of Phoenix, Arizona. They are co-authors of Addictive Ideologies: Finding Meaning and Agency When Politics Fail You.

Emily frequently serves as an expert witness in court and has worked on high-profile cases covering issues of domestic terrorism and capital offenses. Paul was the youngest mayor in Phoenix, AZ history when he was elected at age 30. He was sued by the NRA for implementing common sense gun laws.

Welcome, Emily and Paul. We appreciate you joining us today.

Mark – This is top of mind for most Americans today. Either or both of you may answer. What will it take for this country to take meaningful action to protect the lives of innocent people from mass shootings like this tragic event in Nashville and why is the GOP so keen on protecting kids by banning books but so pathetic when it comes to protecting them from automatic weapons?

Bob – Military-style weapons like the AR-15 often are used in these shootings and about one in 20 Americans own such a gun. What is the attraction to these weapons? Does the 2nd Amendment actually protect them from being banned? If not, shouldn’t they be?

Note: A Washington Post survey found that AR-15 owners come from red, blue and purple states, are significantly more likely to be White, male and between the ages 40 and 65. They’re also more likely to have higher incomes, to have served in the military and to be Republican. AR-15 owners are more likely to live in states former president Donald Trump won in 2020 than adults overall.

Mark –Two years ago, Tennessee failed to pass a red flag gun law that might have stopped the Nashville shooter who was known to be suicidal. What are red flag gun laws and why are they important in curbing gun violence? Should there be a national red flag law and would it be constitutional?

Bob – What are risk assessments and how can they be implemented?

Mark – I’m not suggesting that this is a gun problem only. Mental health issues do play a part in these incidents. However, as we all know, the GOP also advocates for limits on citizen access to mental health services. What can communities do to identify and assist people who are at risk of committing such violent acts? Will this limit the carnage?

Bob – Dr. Bashah, You have advocated for treating ideological extremism as an addiction. Why is this categorization important in stopping mass murders?

Mark – Paul, when you were mayor of Phoenix, you ran into political trouble because of your efforts regarding guns. What happened? Why is it that so many politicians are afraid to act even in the face of these tragic events, which never seem to stop? It is money and the NRA or is there more to the story?

Bob – What are some ways people can deal with friends or loved ones who have fallen into to the trap of addictive ideologies? Tell us about the book, how it might help, and where people can find it.

Mark – Paul, you host the Optimistic American Podcast which has a stated goal of creating space in the news media for a positive and hopeful view of America. However, how can Americans be optimistic when surrounded by all of the negative bias that exists today, and why is optimism so important?

Bob – How about the role of social media and the news media with respect to political divisions that exist today? What needs to be done? Are further restrictions on social media needed?

Mark – As a former mayor and politician, Paul, what is your advice to those lawmakers who are beholden to the NRA and seemingly are afraid to act?
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Autor Mark M. Bello
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