Ford School professors Javed Ali and Jonathan Hanson are available to disucss school shootings and the community aftermath in the wake of the killing of 21 people at Robb Elementary School in Texas.
Javed Ali, associate professor of practice at the Ford School of Public Policy, is a former senior U.S. government counterterrorism official.
"Mass shooters, whether ideologically-motivated or otherwise, tend to pick targets that allow them the best chance of success," Ali said. "The combination of target vulnerability plus attack capability plus perceived impact usually then drives how these events unfold, although there is no clean scientific or mathematical algorithm that can precisely determine when and how attacks happen.
"As a result, an equally diverse set of policy tools are needed to combat this threat domestically, from gun control and reform, mental health screening and services, increased physical security at potentially vulnerable sites, and heightened monitoring of violence-related content on social media platforms and sites."
Jonathan Hanson is a political scientist and lecturer in statistics at the Ford School of Public Policy. Before entering academia, he served as a legislative assistant in Congress for several years and worked on political campaigns.
"With another senseless mass shooting in America, we are reminded starkly that our political system is paralyzed and broken," he said. "Overwhelming majorities of Americans, including gun owners, support basic measures like background checks for gun purchases. Yet, our system empowers minority rule on this issue, and we are unable to have a real debate about sensible policies that would help prevent these distinctively American tragedies."