[Trigger Warning: This article is about asking ChatGPT questions we’re afraid to ask – this edition is specifically about mass shootings.] I started working on this a month and three major mass shootings ago. Our boring dystopia no longer publicizes every mass shooting we experience. Mainstream society seems reluctant to discuss the problem, much less the fact that they don’t have a real solution.
Like you, every new story about a mass shooting breaks my soul. I feel as a society we’ve failed our most-vulnerable members when mass shootings not only happen, but happen on a more-than-daily basis. Even simple ideas like “Yes, this is horrible AND here’s what you can do about it” seem to be beyond the ken of of a news organization in 2023.
Maybe ChatGPT has the answer. “What if we ask AI the questions we’re afraid to ask?” I said. I got onto ChatGPT and started typing away. Yes, while I’ve said ChatGPT won’t replace authors, but this might be a good use for it: use ChatGPT to answer questions we’re afraid to ask. If someone wants to argue with the answers, let them argue with AI. I’d love to see the answers to those questions – maybe you would, too.
But, let’s start small – ask ChatGPT some different non-argumentative questions and see what comes out. I thought of several questions to ask, and here are the results:
Me: How do you stop mass shootings without changing gun laws?
As an AI language model, I strive to provide neutral and objective responses.
That being said, stopping mass shootings without changing gun laws is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted approach. Some strategies that could be effective include:
Improved Mental Health Care: Providing better access to mental health care and support for those who need it may help prevent individuals with mental health issues from committing mass shootings.
Better Background Checks: Strengthening background checks on individuals purchasing firearms to identify those with a history of violence, domestic abuse, or mental illness could help prevent mass shootings.
Increased School Security: Improving school security measures, such as installing metal detectors, hiring more security personnel, and implementing emergency response plans, could help reduce the risk of mass shootings in schools.
Community Involvement: Encouraging community members to be vigilant and report concerning behavior or threats of violence can help prevent mass shootings before they occur.
Gun Safety Education: Promoting gun safety education and responsible gun ownership could help prevent accidental shootings and misuse of firearms.
It’s important to note that these strategies alone may not be sufficient to stop all mass shootings. A comprehensive approach that includes efforts to address the root causes of violence and promote social cohesion may be necessary to effectively address this issue.
Huh, okay – … cool. Sounds similar to things I’ve read elsewhere. But let’s double-click into the answer – I drilled in a bit more on the first point mentioned and asked ChatGPT:
Me: How would you Improve Mental Health Care to stop mass shootings?
Improving mental health care is an important step towards preventing mass shootings, as it can help identify and treat individuals who may be at risk of committing violent acts. Some strategies for improving mental health care to stop mass shootings include:
- Increased Funding: Providing increased funding for mental health care services can help improve access to care and reduce wait times for treatment, making it easier for individuals to receive the support they need.
- Early Intervention: Identifying mental health issues early and providing timely interventions, such as therapy or medication, can help prevent these issues from escalating and potentially leading to violent behavior.
- Education and Awareness: Raising awareness about mental health issues, reducing the stigma associated with seeking treatment, and educating the public on warning signs of potential violence can help promote early intervention and prevention.
- Improved Communication: Encouraging better communication and collaboration between mental health professionals, law enforcement, and other relevant agencies can help identify and address potential threats before they escalate.
- Access to Crisis Services: Providing access to crisis services, such as crisis hotlines or mobile crisis teams, can help individuals experiencing a mental health crisis receive immediate assistance and prevent potentially violent situations.
It’s important to note that mental health care alone may not be sufficient to prevent all mass shootings. A comprehensive approach that includes efforts to address the root causes of violence and promote social cohesion may be necessary to effectively address this issue.