Threat Assessments Called The Only Serious Effort To Prevent Mass Shootings


Tips about potential mass shootings often are analyzed by threat assessment teams of professionals in law enforcement and mental health, who gather as much information as possible about the suspect and come up with a plan to intervene. NPR interviews Mark Follman, an editor at Mother Jones, about a story the publication did about the process. “Mass shooters don’t snap,” Follman says, adding that they “are committing a predatory crime. It’s not an impulsive crime… (they) almost always … have been planned over a period of weeks or months or even years.”

Follman calls threat assessments “the only really serious major effort going on in our country to deal with mass shootings.” He says, “Our political leaders don’t act after these happen. So in a certain sense, threat assessment has kind of filled that void. It’s really kind of an interesting improvisational solution or a solution of last resort to try to deal with this problem that keeps happening over and over.”

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