The tragic attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, has raised concerns among many people across the nation. Other violent episodes, such as the killing of a teenager who was gunned down after returning home from the president's inauguration, have also drawn attention. While mass shootings are infrequent, they may be increasing. Each has devastating effects on a whole community.
Overal, the United States has become safer in recent years. Yet mass shooters target innocent people indiscriminately, often in locales where people ordinarily (and rightly) feel safe--movie theaters, college compuses, schools.
How can we stop such violent acts and ensure that people feel safe in their homes and communities?
This issue advisory presents three options for deliberation, along with their drawbacks:
Option One: Reduce the Threat of Mass Shootings - The problem is that we are too vulnerable to violence.
Option Two: Equip People to Defend Themselves - The problem is that most people, especially children, are not able to defend themselves from sudden danger due to violence.
Option Three: Root Out Violence in Society - The problem is that we live in a culture that perpetuates violence and numbs people to its effects.