(The following is by Brad Rourke, Kettering Foundation program officer and executive editor of issue guides.)
On Friday, February 1, 2013, National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) released an Issue Advisory that contains materials that communities might wish to use in deliberating over the issues raised by the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut in December last year. It's not a full issue guide, but a basic outline of the options, entitled How Can We Stop Mass Shootings in Our Communities? It’s available here.
Developing the framework for this issue posed challenges. In the first place, the issue is raw, happening now, and strikes deep emotional chords. This can make it hard to deliberate -- which requires that people face the downsides of their favored actions. In emotional situations, this can be difficult. A good issue framework will make it easier for people to get past their reactions and begin to make judgments together -- to weigh options.