When is enough, enough?
Oklahoma, California, Texas, Virginia, Connecticut, Florida, and Nevada. All of these states have one thing in common, they have each had a deadly mass shooting. Now before you freak out this is not a paper on gun control. I do talk about gun control, mainly in the sense of stopping the sale of assault rifles, but I do not think that it is the only thing that is needed to deal with gun violence. A second option is to look at the state of mental health in the United States.
With the latest being in Las Vegas Nevada, it has also been recorded as the biggest and most deadly mass shooting in the united states. The Las Vegas shooting left 59 people dead and 527 people injured, many in critical care, according to Fiza Pirani’s article The deadly Las Vegas massacre, by the numbers: How many killed, injured and more So the question became what do we do with yet another mass shooting in America? I think we need to address ways to prevent them, talks about if we are becoming desensitized about mass shootings and look at the statistics of how many shootings there have been.
In Nicholas Kristof article posted on New York Times called Preventing Future Mass Shootings Like Las Vegas Kristof talks about how we need to mourn the loss but by doing so we need to take action. In his article he lays out eight steps the United States Government should take to limit the amount of gun related problems. The step it think the step that is the most important is step number 3 “Enforce a ban on possession of guns by anyone subject to a domestic violence protection order. This is a moment when people are upset and prone to violence against their exes.” I don’t think that anyone who has a violent past should be able to have such a dangerous thing, because if they are willing to harm a significant other they could harm others.
In Sylvia Perez article Are we becoming desensitized to mass shootings? she talks about how we see the pictures and videos of mass shootings on social media and most of us seem unfazed. She states “Unfortunately, these images are becoming too common as mass shootings occur in this country more and more.” She then goes on to ask if we are becoming desensitized to what is happening. In Perez’s article she interviews Joyce Marter the founder of Urban Balance Therapy. Marter talks about ways to not become desensitized to it. Marter says the main way to avoid it is to realize this is not a new normal. I feel that because these happen so much that we tend to pull the wool over our own eyes.
So I was curious and looked up the statistics of mass shootings in the united states in 2017. I found the website Gun Violence Archives. On there page they have a little memo that says “Gun Violence Archive (GVA) is a not for profit corporation formed in 2013 to provide free online public access to accurate information about gun-related violence in the United States. GVA will collect and check for accuracy, comprehensive information about gun-related violence in the U.S. and then post and disseminate it online.” This website was updated on October 4th so it has the most recent shooting on their statistic. The statistic that shocked me the most was the number of gun related incidents at a staggering number of 46,849. If you compare that to 2016's numbers of 58,700 we are at less but the numbers are still high.
More statistics that is that shocked me was the numbers killed vs the number injured. In 2017 there have been 11,722 deaths and 23,7855 injured. If we go back and again compare it to 2016 there were 15,079 deaths and 30,615 injured. Again we have seen a decrease in numbers. I also like that you can see a breakdown of they age groups and the types of shootings. There are three age groups, children, teens and adults. They have six types of shooting. I found that they numbers for the mass shootings interesting, for 2017 there have been 273 mass shootings and 383 in 2016.
So what do these number show? If we focus on only the number of mass shootings in 2017 I felt like there were only ten or fifteen at the most, but to see that there were 273. I feel like people don’t really know when mass shootings happen. I feel that we tend to not think about it. I remember waking up the morning after the shooting in Aurora Co, my parents wouldn’t let me and my brother watch. They ended up taking us out of the house for the day to get away from everyone talking about it. I understand why they did but I feel that because we don’t want to talk about we tend to not when bigger events happen.
As a native Coloradan, I have grown up hearing about the Columbine High School massacre shooting that happened on April 20th 1999. Two students entered Columbine High School and killed 13 fellow classmates and teachers. I have heard about it since I could remember, I remember doing shooter lockdown drills in school and teaches saying “We just don’t want a repeat of Columbine.” I remember doing one my junior year and thinking why do we prepare for these incidents? If a fellow classmate were to come in they would know where everyone in a classroom is. When the 2012 Aurora shooting happened I remember being in shock as me and my family were planning of going to see the same movie that next morning. My family ended up not going for a week and even then we were on edge. I can remember thinking that why am I shocked because we have so many a year.
So what is the takeaway from all of this? I think that looking at the statistics, if we are being desensitized to mass shootings, and ways to stop it that we need to take action. The united states government needs to step up and increase legislation of fun control. The fact that they banned lawn darts because like 10 kids were injured but they won’t do anything to stop mass shootings. It’s time for America to realize we don’t need automatic or semiautomatic guns. Now I am not saying we should take away all guns but I think it needs to be more controlled so that the 273 mass shootings will hopefully one day get to 0.