Two Threats: One Resolved, the Other Heightened

Ian Mitroff
3 min readJun 1, 2023


I’m publishing this series of articles to share and discuss my ruminations on coping with a troubled and messy world. You can “follow” me to never miss an article.

The San Francisco Chronicle featured an Op-Ed by Dr. Michelle Mello, Professor of Health Policy and Law at Stanford University[i]. In it, Dr. Mello recounts the search for what caused her husband to have a stroke. Initially, she blamed it on his having taken a Vaccine for Covid 19. But true to her background and commitment to Science, she quickly eliminated the Vaccines as the source of the problem. Indeed, autoimmune diseases run in her husband’s family which proved to be the real source of the problem.

If anything, given the rise of Dis-Information, she’s concerned that Vaccinations for Covid have plateaued. She’s also worried that the levels of children being Vaccined for childhood diseases have also dropped.

The gaps in knowledge and education are not just crucial but often deadly.

In another Op-Ed, Gordon Witkin makes the case that the System that is supposed to provide background checks on who’s allowed and who’s not to purchase Guns is deeply flawed[ii]. The F.B.I.’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, is supposed to check records so that Gun purchase are either approved or denied. Specifically, ten different types of persons are disallowed from purchasing Firearms from licensed dealers. They are: 1. Felons, 2. Fugitives, 3. Convicted Drug Dealers, 4. People in the Country Illegally, 5. Those Who’ve Renounced Their U.S. Citizenship, 6. Anyone Who’s Been Dishonorably Discharged from the Military, 7. Those Who Are Under Restraining Orders Due to the Commitment of a Violent Crime With Regard to a Partner, 8. Persons Convicted of a Misdemeanor, 9. of Violet Crimes, or 10. Those Who’ve Been Judged to Be Mentally Defective and/or Committed to a Psychiatric Institution.

The trouble is that while well-meaning, the System is plagued by enormous Data gaps thereby making it exceedingly difficult to determine who fits what category and who doesn’t.

[i] Michelle Mello, “Unravelling truth of my husband’s stroke after his COVID vaccine,” The San Francisco Chronicle, Monday, May 22, 2023, P A12.

[ii] Gordon Witkin, “The Gun Background Check System Is a False Promise,” The New York Times, Monday, May 22, 2023, P. A18.

Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 41 books. His most recent are: Techlash: The Future of the Socially Responsible Tech Organization, Springer, New York, 2020. The Psychodynamics of Enlightened Leadership; Coping with Chaos, Co-authored with Ralph H. Kilmann, Springer, New York, 2021. His latest is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid 19, Springer, New York, 2022.

Photo by Himanshu Pandey on Unsplash