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Mark Follman's Book 'Trigger Points' Examines How We Can Prevent Mass Shootings

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A police officer works at the scene of a mass shooting on April 3, 2022 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Liu Guanguan/China News Service via Getty Images)

On February 28, a father in Sacramento walked into a church for a supervised visit with his three young children. He ended up killing five people: his children, the church member who volunteered to chaperone, and himself. This is a scenario that journalist Mark Follman is all too familiar with. An editor for the magazine Mother Jones, Follman has studied mass shootings for years, and even built a database of such murders because none had previously existed. For his new book, “Trigger Points,” Follman attempts to understand what might be done to prevent shootings before they happen. He’s talked to criminologists and mental health specialists to understand the psychology of mass shooters and looks at whether a model exists for intervening constructively with troubled people before they get their hands on a weapon. We’ll talk to Follman about his book.


Mark Follman, national affairs editor, Mother Jones magazine


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