In light of every mass shooting the United States has had in the modern era, I got to wondering what can actually be done about this type of horror we keep seeing.
I know people will never give up their right to own guns. Why should they when a great number of them are gun intelligent? In other words, you give them a gun and they won’t shoot themselves or others on accident.
What’s left to do then?
I’ve come to the conclusion that the answer lies in the lives that we lose.
Upon some poking around and doing some research I discovered that the people who are dying from gun-related incidents are not from mass murders. Don’t get me wrong, 58 dead with more than 500 injured is no small thing.
Neither is the 49 killed and more than 50 injured on June 12, 2016, at Pulse nightclub.
Certainly not the 32 killed with an undetermined number of others injured on April 16, 2007, at Virginia Tech Blacksburg.
The senseless killing of 20 little ones, and 6 adults on December 17, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The 23 killed on October 16, 1991, at Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas.
21 adults and children dead in a San Ysidro California McDonalds on July 18, 1984, because of some old white guy.
16 were killed and 30 others wounded at the University of Texas in Austin Texas on August 1, 1966, where it was later discovered that two more were killed earlier that same day.
San Bernardino: 14 killed on December 2, 2015
Edmond, Oklahoma: 14 postal workers killed on August 20, 1986, with handguns.
Fort Hood: 13 are killed and 32 injured at Fort Hood, Texas military base.
There are five other instances where 13 people lost their lives because someone has been pushed to the edge of tolerance.
Here are some other numbers for you:
33,000* – the approximate number of lives ended by guns in the United States every year.
Two thirds – how many of those gun deaths in the United States that were suicides.
1 in 5 young men (15 to 34) killed in homicides often related to gang loyalties or other street violence.
1,700 – the number of women murdered every year generally as the result of domestic violence (quick note: I am more than aware that domestic violence goes both ways. I feel that the laws against domestic violence need to be enforced onto both sexes. Here the focus is on women deaths due to domestic violence as women are more often killed then men).
333 – the number of people who have lost their lives in mass shootings.
All these numbers are horrifying. But please explain to me how a blanket law for gun control is going to help?
Australia. Yes, they have a nice ban on guns but look at the number of mass shootings they have had. Not enough to actually make the ban show any difference in overall numbers.
In both Britain and Australia, bans have not reduced the number of mass shootings or gun related-crimes. And gun restrictions had an ambiguous effect on other gun-related crimes or deaths.
Now let us look at some of the blanket ideals for gun control:
Assault weapons*: You do not go in and buy an assault weapon. This is a classification that includes any semi-automatic with two or more features. A bayonet mount, rocket-propelled grenade-launcher mount, folding stock or pistol grips. Anyone who is gun intelligent can tell you that these features can easily be added or removed to a gun like Lego sets.
Silencers: Not so silent. Or rather forget movie silencers. An AR-15 with a silencer is about as loud as a jackhammer*. These are more for the shooters then quietly ending lives.
Magazine limits: A bit better, if you ignore the practiced shooters* who can change magazines so fast the limits are quite meaningless.
There has been no proposed restriction that would make it harder for people with guns on hand to actually use them.
A blanket gun control law is not going to help. What possibly will help is narrowly tailored interventions. All the deaths listed above need different protections.
People who think about committing suicide need better access to people who could care for them and get them help. These are usually older men!
Women who are endangered by specific men need police to get off their asses and enforce restraining orders that prohibit these men from buying and owning guns.
Mentors are needed who can help de-escalate conflicts and keep young people at risk of being violent from becoming so.
New Orleans has the right idea with their gang member identification practice*. The numbers are there, but they have to be disarmed one by one, personally.
When we can make the small individual changes then we can see a large scale difference in not only the not often seen numbers but in those publicized mass shootings ones as well. Most of those shootings are caused by someone, usually a white male that has problems that we know how to begin treating that just isn’t given the chance to be treated.
*33,000 gun deaths a year in the United States
Data of Mass Shootings (suicides, gang/street related, domestic violence)
Mass Shooting Analysis
Suicides in the US
Domestic Abuse towards Women
*Loud as a jackhammer
*New Orleans gun control
This was spurred by an article with many of these points laid out, but it’s a Washington Post article and they really limit the amount you can read on their site without a subscription. Here is a 30 day pass for The Washington Post. As a subscriber I do not know if the Washington Post will hassle you into buying a subscription or not. Only you can choose if this is something you wish to do or not. Do not come at me because of anything the Washington Post may do to or for you.
Until next time, we as a nation need to look closely to laws that help the ones that need it the most. There has never been a successful blanket solution that works for all.