This week’s mass shooting

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George Andersen

On Sunday, I received a push notification from AP news. “At Least twenty dead in sutherland springs shooting,” Sadly, I felt nothing. I felt nothing because this is something that I, and presumably all of you reading this have become accustomed to. We have reached a point as a society that mass shootings are just another Tuesday.

All five of the top five deadliest mass shootings in United States history have happened within the past ten years. Two of the top five have happened in the last two months. The top five are as follows according to CNN

The Harvest Music Festival- 58 killed. Oct. 1, 2017

Pulse night club- 49 killed. June 12, 2016

Virginia Tech- 32 killed. April 16, 2007

Sandy Hook- 27 killed. Dec. 14, 2012

First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas- 26 killed. Nov. 5, 2017

The tweets from public officials, celebrities and political figures have become like a game of madlibs. Just fill in the who, where and how many dead and say how desperately you are praying for the families. So far this has achieved less than nothing, as the shootings are not slowing down, but seemingly speeding up like some sort of twisted competition over who wants to break the next world record.

I have heard the same response over and over and over. ‘This is just the way it is. If killers want to kill, they will no matter what.’ The only gigantic plot-hole with that situation is that developed countries around the world experience numbers of mass shootings that are not even a fraction of the amount that we experience.

Mental health isn’t the problem. The numbers of people with mental health problems and U.S. spending on mental health is similar to those of other developed and wealthy countries. In fact a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that mental health problems in America haven’t increased while the number of mass shootings have increased dramatically.

The only big, divisive factor between the U.S. and other countries is the amount of guns we own. There is nearly a gun for every single person in the United States.

“More gun ownership corresponds with more gun murders across virtually every axis: among developed countries, among American states, among American towns and cities and when controlling for crime rates. And gun control legislation tends to reduce gun murders, according to a recent analysis of 130 studies from 10 countries.” – From a New York Times Article.

While the argument that Americans have the right to own guns is valid, it needs to be more controlled. It’s true, if someone wants a gun they will get one no matter what the law says, but why should be systematically make it easy for them to evade background checks with things like the Gun show loophole?

We know from example led by other countries like Australia that tighter gun control laws lead to less death. Between 1987 and 1996, Australia had 4 mass shootings. After that, stricter gun control legislation was passed and they haven’t had a mass shooting since.

As Americans,we pride ourselves on and strive to be the first to innovate and the best once we get there. Why is this ideology stopping at gun control legislation?