The two recent mass shootings, one in El Paso and one in Dayton, were horrific and yet not unexpected. According to the major news we have experienced 251 such incidents, this year. Mass shootings include incidents where at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter. The U.S. leads eleven other advanced countries with these types of shootings.
The horrific part of the shootings is understandable, but the not-unexpected part is what we don’t deal with. Every time we have a mass shooting, we hear the calls for more regulations. There must be something we can do to reduce the shootings. Yes, there are things we could do, be we don’t address them. Instead we talk about the so-called related issues, which for the most part — are not related.
We hear about mental illness as a topic that we should deal with to reduce the shootings. Mental illness is a problem that we should deal with, but it will not prevent most of our mass shootings. Women in this country have mental illnesses, so why are they almost absent as perpetrators in these shootings? Other countries have mental illnesses in their societies, so why are they not affected to the degree that we are?
We are also told that violent video games may be the cause, so they should be regulated. The problem with this logic is that all of other advanced nations also have violent video games and they do not experience the extreme numbers of shootings.
This almost uniquely American problem of mass shootings has possible solutions, but to institute any solutions, we need leaders that are willing to legislate. Since 90 percent of the American public believes in universal background checks, that first step should be easy. However, if our elected officials in office won’t do the easy, how can we expect them to really address the problem?