During the first day of Speak Lab, we were split up into 3 groups, each with a specific focus. My group got the topic of Living with Guns.
We began to look into some pre-selected readings to map out our first look into the problem space.
I focused more on the mass shootings, suicides, and the stakeholders involved in those situations. We looked into:
- Mass shootings
- Philosophy of guns
- Psychology behind guns
To begin, our aims were to understand the following through research:
- What are the doubts that exist?
- Who are the stakeholders (which is not "everyone")?
- Is it a problem?
- What is the nature of the problem?
- What are the major themes of the problem?
Our final deliverable would be a pitch of a potential solution to be presented in 5 weeks when Speak Lab ends.
We began to organize our stakeholders into Institutions and Gun Owners and worked our way into more specifics from there.
Analyzing the Problem Space
We then sorted through current attitudes towards guns and gun laws and placed them respectively on a spectrum ranging from the extremes of "No guns" to "Free guns." Amongst the research were views on how the shape of guns can influence aggression, facts on gun culture, statistics on deaths by guns through mass shootings compared to suicides, and arguments on the 2nd Amendment compared to federal or state laws.
We began to organize our stakeholders into Institutions, Gun Owners, and Non-Owners. Working our way into specifics from there, we split Institutions into public and private sectors, and categorized the gun owners by reasons for gun owning — for recreation, protection, or aggression. We did this to get a feeling of who is involved and invested in this topic.
We generally summed up that guns in the US is a problem because people are obtaining guns to shoot other people. Or in other words, people are being hurt by guns.
All in all, though we gained an overall view on guns in the US, there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of understanding the gaps in this problem or even having a more accurate grasp on what this problem really means.