Can Government Officials Be
Trusted With Our Children's Lives

By Rob Morse. March 13, 2020
Original Source

I’m watching the news media and the government go nuts over the flu. That increased my level of skepticism about our public institutions. That was my frame of mind when Bill Frady asked me, “Didn’t we learn what to do from the first school attacks? Why was there ever a second school shooting in the USA?” Bill asked the right question under the right circumstances, and I think Bill is right. We should have learned from the first attack, but we didn’t. We know how to stop mass public violence, but, too often, we chose not to.

Fortunately, recent news helps us figure out what happened. Attacks in public are rare and hard to understand. We pay for preparation every day, but the reward may never come. We make excuses when we fail, and we don’t get credit when we succeed. All of that plays a part. Government has trouble filling a pothole. Sometimes it needs our help to do the right thing.

Practice is a better teacher than theory:

Some problems are easy to solve. You know how to feed yourself and you solve that problem several times a day. You learned what a solution looks like when you were a child. You practiced taking care of yourself as a teenager. In contrast, we don’t have that familiarity with rare events like a school or church attack. We didn’t grow up with school and church security. Most of us don’t know how to think about the problem of mass violence, let alone know what to do to solve it in our local schools, churches, or shopping malls. We don’t have a mental model for violence the way we have a model for feeding ourselves at lunch. .....


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