top of page

Addressing Mass Shootings: A Conversation with Dr. Emily Bashah and Paul Johnson

Addressing Mass Shootings: A Conversation with Dr. Emily Bashah and Paul Johnson

In the wake of the tragic mass shooting at Covenant Presbyterian church school in Nashville, Tennessee, the nation found itself grappling once again with the devastating consequences of gun violence. This heart-wrenching incident was just one in a series of shootings that have shaken communities across the United States over the past year. With each tragedy, the call for meaningful action to curb mass shootings has grown louder.

In a recent episode of the "Lean to the Left and Justice Counts" podcast, hosts Bob Gatty and Mark M. Bello invited two distinguished guests to shed light on this pressing issue: clinical psychologist Dr. Emily Bashah and political expert Paul Johnson, former mayor of Phoenix, Arizona. Together, they co-authored the book "Addictive Ideologies: Finding Meaning and Agency When Politics Fail You."

In this thought-provoking conversation, Dr. Bashah and Paul Johnson delved into various aspects of the mass shooting problem, offering insights and solutions that aim to enhance school safety and protect innocent lives.

1. What Will It Take for Meaningful Action?

The podcast began by addressing the fundamental question: What will it take for the nation to take meaningful action against mass shootings? The tragic events in Nashville underscored the urgent need for change.

2. The Attraction to Military-Style Weapons

Dr. Bashah and Paul Johnson discussed the appeal of military-style weapons like the AR-15 in these shootings. Should these weapons be banned, and what drives their ownership?

3. Red Flag Gun Laws

The importance of red flag gun laws was explored, particularly in the context of the Nashville shooter's known suicidal tendencies. Should there be a national red flag law to address these concerns?

4. Implementing Risk Assessments

The conversation shifted to risk assessments and how they can be effectively implemented as a preventive measure.

5. Community Involvement

What can communities do to identify and support individuals at risk of committing violent acts? This question highlighted the importance of community engagement.

6. Treating Ideological Extremism as an Addiction

Dr. Bashah emphasized the significance of treating ideological extremism as an addiction, offering a unique perspective on preventing mass murders.

7. The Political Challenge

Paul Johnson shared his experiences as a former mayor and the political challenges he faced while implementing common-sense gun laws. Why do some politicians hesitate to act in the face of such tragedies?

8. Dealing with Addictive Ideologies

The conversation touched on ways to address friends or loved ones who have fallen into the trap of addictive ideologies, promoting healthy dialogue and understanding.

9. Finding Optimism Amidst Negativity

Amidst the pervasive negativity, the podcast explored how Americans can maintain optimism and why it's crucial in these challenging times.

10. Role of Social and News Media

The role of social media and news media in exacerbating political divisions was scrutinized, and potential solutions were considered.

11. Advice to Lawmakers

Paul Johnson offered advice to lawmakers who may be hesitant to act due to political pressures, especially from the NRA.

This insightful podcast episode encapsulated a multifaceted discussion on curbing mass shootings. Dr. Emily Bashah and Paul Johnson brought their expertise to the table, offering a glimmer of hope that through thoughtful discourse and meaningful action, the United States can move closer to a safer, more optimistic future.

Watch the Full Podcast

To gain a deeper understanding of the comprehensive solutions proposed by Dr. Bashah and Paul Johnson, we invite you to watch the full "Lean to the Left and Justice Counts" podcast episode. Together, we can contribute to the ongoing dialogue and work towards a society where such tragic events become a thing of the past. Let's make a collective effort to protect innocent lives and foster a more optimistic America. Watch the podcast


bottom of page