Problem statements about school shootings

As a design thinking practitioner, I’ve been thinking about all the problem statements we could send to our lawmakers to help them focus on ideating solutions to school shootings. I expect being a public servant is difficult which is why we go through all the trouble of electing people to solve these complex problems. In this prosperous and developed nation, how can we can be so powerless to protect our most precious treasures? Our lawmakers are too distracted, conflicted, and compromised to act.
 
A child needs to feel safe at school and not worry about being shot because schools are bastions of learning, mentorship, and safety.
 
A mother needs to feel assured her child will not be shot at school by a semiautomatic gun so that she does not ever have to plan her precious child’s funeral.
 
A teacher needs to feel confident they will not be shot at work by a semiautomatic rifle or have to protect students from bullets because in a developed, prosperous nation we do not worry about weapons of war being used against us at work.
 
“Children are the most precious treasure a community can possess, for in them are the promise and guarantee of the future.” –The Universal House of Justice

The Long of It

Hi! I’m back with a scrubbed-clean site after a 9-year hiatus from blogging. I’ve come full-circle.

I started blogging around 1999 because it was a way for me to document personal growth and change. I enjoyed the evolution of content as I interacted with more of the blogosphere and I learned a lot about writing in the process. Mainly: what I did (human experience) and didn’t (opinionated, one-sided rants) want to talk about.

I remember in college, I was pontificating about how great the web could be to a friend. I said, “Let’s say that I am at the bus stop and I see you, and we haven’t seen each other in forever, but I see my bus coming and I’m going to be late for class and I really have to go. I could give you this little card [with lay-c.com on it] and you could go to it and see what I’ve been up to!” He replied, “That’s creepy.” And now, welcome to the world.

In 2008, I had my first child. I wrote a few blog entries after that, but felt that the itch had been scratched when it came to online sharing. Micro-blogging platforms like Twitter and social sites like Facebook were all about curating a network of friends and made a lot of the manual work I did before for my blogging communities obsolete.

More importantly though, I decided to limit information about my children on the web. The last thing I wanted was some future employer of my daughter to look her up only to find some long story about the time she vomited all over my silk dress at a wedding (true story, names redacted). Or, God forbid, for a criminal to steal her images and use them for evil. She should have the right, when she’s an adult, to decide how much to share online about her life. To this day, I try to keep Facebook anecdotes brief, vague, and vanilla.

I think the scales finally tipped me towards restarting the blog when I wrote a list of all the topics I wanted to write about and filled the page. I mean, occasionally I have an idea, I do a bunch of research, I start to write, and then I never publish. Sometimes I have analysis paralysis when I start thinking about where to publish (Medium? Facebook?). Evernote has become a graveyard of my partly-written ideas. Then, I remembered I still have this space. I have paid for it every month since 2000. Might as well use it.

A coworker of mine says “Do something instead of nothing.” It’s a simple phrase that has come to mean something important to me. Instead of being paralyzed by my fear of being vulnerable and doing nothing, I should own it (literally, I own this website) and do something. So here I am, doing something.