The below snippet was taken from an article written by Richard Berk on the website for the University of Penn State, Penn Arts & Science section regarding what constitutes a mass shooting.
Based on this description, and according to gunviolencearchive.org, there have been 142 mass shootings in the US since January 1, 2022, that have either injured or killed more than 4 people at one or more locations close to another. One Hundred and Forty-Two, in less than six months.
Obviously, our country is devastated by the most recent shooting at an Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. No parent ever drops their child off at school and expects to not pick them back up later that day. No parent ever sends their child to school expecting them to perish at the hands of someone. Ever. It’s tragic, it’s devastating, it’s senseless, and it’s horrifying beyond measure.
This most recent shooting follows in the footsteps of the mass shooting in Buffalo where innocent lives were lost while they were simply grocery shopping. People going about their days in normal activity and are gunned down by a racist lunatic which, if I’m being honest those two words are synonymous with each other.
I follow a lot of celebrities on Instagram, I got the love of that from my Mom watching Entertainment Tonight every night in the 1980s. I watch them post the need for changes in policy and procedures, and I wholeheartedly understand their meaning. Yes, things need to change. But, what? What can we possibly do at this point to make any radical change that will do any real good? Many, many of the celebrities who live in Europe and Canada voice concern over how readily available guns are to US citizens, they simply cannot fathom it. True, they do not have the same rights we do here in the US.
Gun laws? Background checks? We have those. We have gun laws, and we have background checks that must be performed to legally obtain a firearm. Removal of AR-style weapons? Sure, if we stop selling them in stores, citizens following the gun laws will no longer be able to purchase them. But what about the citizens who do not follow our own gun laws? What about those who already have them? What about the black market? What about the criminals who have no use of our laws as they stand much less if they get stricter? I’m not saying these things will or won’t help. I am simply addressing the fact we have had the constitution since 1776 and we’ve had the 2nd amendment since 1791. I think it’s unlikely in a country that is as proud as the US is to be “free” that we will see any significant impact on our laws regarding guns or gun ownership.
I’ve seen many arguments over the opinion that is the access to guns that is the issue, much the same above, this is nearly a moot point with the laws we have in the US. However, I can say, while I am no journalist, I do know at least the last two mass shootings were carried out by 18-year-olds. Is this not something we can control? The age to purchase nicotine products recently increased to 21 without question. In fact, neuropsychological research has countlessly shown that and provided evidence that adulthood begins around 25 years of age for the average person. The average brain does not mature to include right/wrong sense, common sense, logical sense, sense of fear, appreciation of life until around 25. As a mother to a 24, 20, and 19-year-old, I can attest that my findings agree with that.
Would changing the age of being able to purchase a gun to the age of 25 aid in trying to combat future mass shootings?
Would adding mental health checks aid in trying to combat future mass shootings?
What about the insane number of young adults who aren’t able to get employment who know social media better than their older neighbors? Would it not prove beneficial to have an entire department of these young adults to help identify any social media red flags for those applying to purchase a gun? Almost every mass shooter has left a social media footprint directing us to their intended massacre.
I’m sure I don’t know, but I know these individuals had no business owning guns. I know these individuals have massacred innocent lives for intentions that will never be justified.
I am not an expert, I am not the one with answers, but I am a concerned citizen who understands our rights to bear arms, the freedoms we have come to know and love, and our dire need for change in the US to provide security from raging lunatics who want to kill innocent human beings.
While prayers and thoughts are always given, sometimes I think that’s just not enough. Not anymore.