The legal system is primarily reactive. It is only involved after an event has occurred and it’s role is to determine fault and liability. The legal system does very little to prevent crime or change society.
In order to prevent crime, one has to understand why it happens. This article on what creates a mass shooter discusses the commonalities in most mass shooters and proposes some solutions for addressing those issues and preventing these events. Identifying mental health struggles and investing in mental health treatment are proactive steps that might actually help.
Empathy is also key. Mass shooters act out of their own trauma and delusions. They blame other people for the way they are feeling. Society does the same thing when we label mass shooters as evil monsters. It prevents us from recognizing them before they act – because we aren’t expecting someone we know to take that final step. We have to recognize that the people in our lives, our schools, our workplaces might be hurting on such a deep level that they’d do the unthinkable. We have to be prepared to intervene before that happens.
Barb and Starr Go to Vista Del Mar is a silly movie … but the final scene demonstrates this theory perfectly. The evil villain is acting out of her own isolation and anger because she has no friends. The protagonists (and the entire crowd) volunteer to be her friends – and she is transformed. We’re not suggesting that changing mass shooters would be that easy, but this is a clear picture of how it could be effective.
On a legal note … Colorado has various legal avenues for intervention. You can call Child or Adult Protective Services and ask them to assess the situation. You can ask law enforcement to do a welfare check. You can file for a red flag protection order to have firearms removed from someone’s possession.