Mass Shootings Persist, But a New Book Brings Hope and Science to Grappling With Their Prevention

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It’s become all too common in media and politics to assume that we can’t stop mass shootings. But in his new book, Mother Jones National Affairs Editor Mark Follman demonstrates how many of these massacres are preventable, and traces the promising path and strategies to thwart them.

Follman, who has maintained a first-of-its-kind open-source database of mass shootings since 2012, documents the latest in the emerging field of behavioral threat assessment. Trigger Points: Inside the Mission to Stop Mass Shootings in America, published on Tuesday, walks us through the progress of forensic psychologists, FBI agents, and other experts and educators.

My reading list is impossibly long, but I’m all in on this one. I suggest you join me, and if you want a teaser, catch his conversation at the Commonwealth Club of California with MoJo’s Monika Bauerlein. I’d already known the contours from having read his investigation in our upcoming print magazine, but each time Follman speaks or writes on it, I get a fresh look at the prevalence and prospects of stopping mass shootings. He delivers evidence and reasons for cautious hope.

“Years ago I had the feeling there had to be other ways to look at this problem, and when I learned about behavioral threat assessment and started digging into it, I learned there’s a very different way to look at this that gets past the familiar noise” of defeatism and inevitability, he says.

Get the insightful book, and watch below:

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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