Unbearable Feelings of Helplessness: More Guns Are Not the Answer

Ian Mitroff
2 min readMay 27, 2022

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.

Because I’m Immuno-compromised, just one day after the horrific school shootings in Ulvade, Texas, I was able to take a new drug that offers increased protection from Covid 19. Whereas the vaccines and boosters which I’ve taken previously allow one’s body to develop antibodies, the new drug already contains antibodies.

The good news is that when it comes to dealing with a deadly disease — indeed, one of the deadliest — we are not helpless. The bad news is that when it comes to guns, the matter is completely reversed. Guns do not offer the same degree of protection. Indeed, if guns were the answer, then we ought to be the safest nation on the planet, which we are not. The death rate due to guns far exceeds that of any other nation.

Along with unbridled anger and countless other emotions, I suspect that those responsible for mass shootings are suffering from unbearable feelings of helplessness. Guns offer a direct way to assuage those feelings by taking it out on others.

The point is that as a nation, we are completely broken. We will remain so until we finally break our awful addiction to guns.

It cannot be said enough. You can’t be Pro-Life and Pro-Guns. The two are a direct contradiction.

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; and his latest in press is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid 19, Springer, New York, 2022.

Photo Credit: serikbaib