I feel that I, like many others, should say something here to respond to the murders at Newtown, CT. To say, especially, how social marketing
can be used to respond to violence or to prevent violence. Actually, very
soon after I heard about the shootings in Newtown, I begin to think, “How
can social marketing be used to prevent something like this?” Violence generally,
handgun violence specifically, are some of those “wicked problems” that
people often call upon social marketing to address. But to tell the truth, I
am still trying to work my way through a fog of emotions to think very
rationally or strategically about how to address a tragedy
like this.

A couple things I do know, however. Gun violence is a
multi-determined problem. It is like a spiderweb, and we need to
look at every strand that supports gun violence and consider what can be
done to address each of these strands. A single simple solution is not
going to do it. And social marketing gives us that 360° view of all the
factors that support a problem and of all the potential remedies. Having a
marketing mindset helps us look at a mix of solutions they can have a
synergistic effect, which can succeed where single or silo-ed solutions
cannot.

The other thing I know is that we have to consider the
worth and dignity of every individual involved in this: the children,
the teachers, the mother of Adam Lanza, and yes, even Adam himself. The
police and first responders. Gun owners and those who want nothing to
do with guns. Individuals and society and our culture. We need to seek
to understand, and we need to develop insight, if we are ever to reduce
or prevent the problem of gun violence; to prevent a massacre like Newtown. Beyond these sureties, I am still muddling through the fog.