How Police Can Stop the Next School Shooting
A military-like response is essential to combat the spate of massacres at schools, theaters, malls and other public spaces in recent decades, experts say, along with a combined effort to identify would-be attackers before they lash out.
There are roughly 300 million privately-owned guns among the roughly 310 million Americans. Even if gun distribution ceased today, the quality of these weapons means that hundreds of millions of them could last for hundreds of years, says former FBI Agent Clint van Zandt.
Barring a way to eliminate access to weapons, communities must look to telltale predictors of violent behavior among troubled people like Adam Lanza.
“His mother knew, his teachers knew, his counselors knew,” says van Zandt, a retired supervisor at the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit. “Everyone had a piece of the behavior, everyone had a piece of the puzzle, but they didn’t come together.”
There is no one event that drives someone to commit these kinds of crimes, says van Zandt. Rather, it is composition of factors, such as violent video games that reward simulated killing, an inability to resolve issues non-violently, and a society that must improve its ability to identify and treat mental illnesses.