As of February 21, 2016, there have been 30 mass shootings, killing 42 people and injuring 113. To me, this is unacceptable and it amazes me that there are so many Americans out there that do nothing to help stop these atrocities from occurring. I understand that we as Americans have the right to bear arms, but the Second Amendment does not give people the right to murder innocent victims on a near daily basis.
Below is a list of the 30 mass shootings over the first 51 days of 2016. The availability of guns plays a major part in why these mass shootings occur at such an alarming rate. The United States has such lax gun laws that even suspected terrorists can easily acquire a gun.
Another reason that we have so many mass shootings is due to Mental Health. Over 30 years ago, when Reagan was elected President in 1980, he discarded a law proposed by his predecessor that would have continued funding federal community mental health centers. This basically eliminated services for people struggling with mental illness.
A popular theory for why teens are committing mass shootings has to do with movies and video games. A new report from an American Psychological Association task force has concluded that playing violent video games can lead to an increase in aggression. However, even after more than 20 years of studies, the APA says there still isn’t enough research into whether games cause actual criminal violence. To reach any conclusions about whether playing a first-person shooter will increase the likelihood that someone will shoot people in real life, there need to be more studies. I personally believe that, while playing violent video games can lead to aggressive behavior, it would take a pre-existing mental issue to cause someone to transfer that aggression to acts of criminal violence.
Typical mass murderers are usually conservative, middle-aged, white males from relatively stable, lower-to-middle-class backgrounds. These individuals usually aspire to more than they can achieve, and when they see their ambitions thwarted, they blame others for their failures. They feel exclusion and develop an irrational, and eventually, homicidal hatred of anyone they consider a hindrance to their own aspirations. Quite often, they choose to die in an eruption of violence directed at these perceived oppressors. There are three common types of mass murderers: family annihilators, paramilitary enthusiasts, and disgruntled workers. Social areas of dysfunction, such as unemployment, loneliness, a family breakup, or an argument with a supervisor, can trigger their deadly rage.
Over the last 30 years, we have been on a downward spiral thanks to the corporatization of America. From Reagan’s discarding of mental health legislation in 1980, to the disappearance of the nuclear family caused by the need to work multiple jobs to make ends meet due to a stagnant minimum wage. Many people can’t afford to go to college due to exceedingly high tuition causing them to have to take a lower paying job. Those that do have a college education are most likely saddled with crippling debt due to exceedingly high tuition.
There are many things that we can do to quell the number of mass shootings that we currently have. It starts with comprehensive gun control laws. This does not mean that Liberals are coming to take your guns away. It does, however, mean that those with violent criminal backgrounds, ties to terrorist organizations (ISIS, KKK, etc) or mental health issues should not be allowed to have a firearm.
Increasing the minimum wage to a “living” wage so that a person can support a family of 3 on a single income would strengthen the nuclear family and provide children with a stronger family setting.
Lowering tuition or, like Bernie Sanders proposes, free tuition at state colleges would provide education for those that may not be able to afford it. An educated populous benefits everyone and provides a path to a brighter and more lucrative life for the individual.
These are just a few things that could be done to lower the number of mass shootings significantly. Over the last 3 decades, Congress has proven that it will not do anything that the NRA, Corporations, Big Pharmaceutical and Big Banks don’t approve of. This election year, lets rid Congress of the obstructionists and put in people that will work for We The People instead of their big money puppeteers.