No parent should have to face the grief and horror of what happened at that grade school in Connecticut. For them there is no comfort in knowing that any particular school would have to wait thousands of years on the average for a similar event, or that most children who are murdered die outside of school.
But you can be sure of one thing – there will be no shortage of people, from the President on down, who will claim to have THE solution for ensuring that it will never happen again, without any way to prove that their solutions will actually work. For example, in one literature survey of 113 studies of violence prevention programs in healthcare and other settings, only 32, or about one in three, had any follow-up evaluation of any proposed solutions. Which is the same ratio of success that psychiatrists have in actually predicting future violent behavior in any one person. There are always many more “solutions” than results.
See Y. Cvitkovich, June 2005, Preventing Violent and Aggressive Behavior in Healthcare: a literature review, Occupational Health & Safety Agency for Healthcare in BC (British Columbia, Canada) 81p.
This article surveyed literature from “peer-review journals, government and academic reports, PubMed database, books, reference lists, websites and journal “Table of Contents”.” [I like PubMed.gov; it's a good place to get sense of what science and medicine actually know.]
Use the scientific method to seek answers? These “experts” will draw mostly from their own personal, religious, political or profit-motive agendas, from the set arguments that they “know” are right, without ever having to test them and show that they work. Why bother with something that might not advance a cause? It's a lot of work.
For those who find the idea of using scientific and engineering methods to address this kind of problem intimidating, there's a nice, readable little book. See Eric Ries, The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, Crown Business (Random House), NY, 2011, 320p. In the context of this book on how to succeed in business by really trying, the top-down, so-called “expert” solutions fall into the category of “Build It and They Will Come” approaches, which usually fail. It instead advocates a continuous process of making constant tests and adjustments depending upon what works. If the theory (ideology) doesn't produce positive results according to independent, objective measures, then ask what went wrong to at least five levels, scrap or adapt the theory, and try something else.
That, after all, has made physical medicine so effective and nearly miraculous today. Too bad that approach hasn't been tried more often in politics and psychiatry."