Presently, there have been over 400 mass shootings in 2022. According to research, that number climbs every single day. Statistics show there were 417 mass shootings in 2019, 611 mass shootings in 2020, and 693 in 2021, meaning these stats have a high potential to break records by the end of this year. The tragedy of mass shootings seems to be unique to only this country. Why are mass shootings so common in America, and why are they still increasing?
The United States has been through a handful of mind-altering events, such as a global pandemic, national lockdown, and civil unrest, all in just the last two years. While major events existed before, there has been an upsurge in gun violence since 2020. Such hardships are making mass shootings more prevalent, and people are begging for reform.
Gun Violence in America
On average, more than 110 Americans are killed by guns every day. In addition to this, more than 200 are injured by gun violence every day. It’s safe to assume that the effect of gun violence extends far beyond those who are killed and injured. In America, gun violence has shaped the lives of millions who witness, experience, and know those who have been in such a situation. As you can see, the magnitude of everyday gun violence is almost incomprehensible.
Research shows that gun suicides make up 59% of deaths in America, and gun homicides make up 38% of deaths in America. This means that 6 out of every 10 gun deaths are those who own a gun and choose to end their own life, and 4 out of every 10 gun deaths are those who own a gun and choose to end someone else’s life. The United States’ gun violence rate is 26 times higher than that of other high-income countries. The impact this has on American citizens is catastrophic.
The Cause for the Increase in Mass Shootings
While the number of mass shootings in the United States has always been high, studies have shown that the pandemic and its aftermath have jump-started the big increase in violence over the past couple of years. Covid-19 imposed sudden physiological and financial strain across the US, which then amplified fear, isolation, and hardship among Americans. The increase in gun violence is synonymous with an increase in firearm purchases, and the United States has twice the amount of guns per 100 people than any other country.
While it is certainly true that the ownership of guns exacerbates the problem of mass shootings, it is not the cause. Other countries in the world that have a significant amount of guns do not portray the same numbers as we do regarding mass shootings. Perhaps it is this country’s celebration of vigilantism and our cultural value of fierce individualism that make mass shootings so popular. We are one of the world’s strongest military forces and have a habit of settling disputes with guns. This, paired with powerful and negative social forces in today’s society is fueling the fire of mass shootings. These social forces include financial fear, distrust in the government, racism, hate crime, domestic terrorism, and overall increased disbelief in the American dream. All of these social forces are extremely prevalent in today’s current climate, more out in the open than ever since the 2022 pandemic. Taking these factors into consideration, it is no shock this country is on the precipice of a breaking point with mass shootings.
Minimizing the Risks
The staggering increase in gun purchases, paired with mass shootings, means it’s impossible not to think about the possibilities of experiencing gun violence firsthand. There are many proactive solutions to minimize the risks of mass shootings in your place of work, school, and even your own home. Take precautions by implementing weekly lockdown drills at your place of work, which better prepares everyone in case of an emergency. Increase security measures such as lockdown door systems, security camera systems, hiring armed guards, and knowing how to spot a potential active shooter can help divert a situation before it even happens. All of these are great precautions to take when wanting to minimize the risk of mass shootings in the US.
Perhaps the most beneficial precaution to take is implementing common-sense gun legislation. Implementing the proper infrastructure to prevent gun violence in America is the next plausible step in minimizing the risk of mass shootings. As an example, a reduction in automobile deaths in the United States is one of the greatest successes of public health intervention. Implementing seat belts, safer manufacturing, and stricter qualifications to purchase a car have prevailed in decreasing deaths by car crashes. The same could easily be done with guns.
We need to grow and heal our country to fully change the cycle of mass shootings in the US. The statistics of mass shootings in 2022 prove that these numbers are only increasing, and we as a country need to be taking stronger precautions to diminish the tragedy of this kind of violence.