The Gun or The Man
How would you feel if you were a parent of two kids that went to the same elementary school and one morning after dropping both kids off you get a call from the school that it is on lockdown and several kids have been hit by a shooter that is still on the loose. I am pretty sure every parent in this situation would be worried sick about their kid’s safety. After an incident like that happening to your kids, would you want there to be an increase in gun control laws and regulations or would you rather have these gun laws be decreased to prevent more shootings? Whether you think there should be more or less laws, we can all agree that there needs to be an overall change in the system to prevent events like this from happening. that is why there is a big conflict over gun laws in America till this day that need to be looked at again. Stricter Background checks should be the bigger picture in trying to determine ways of stopping mass shootings across American soil.
Believe it or not, an investigation found that high capacity magazines were used in at least 50% of the 62 mass shootings between 1982 and 2012 (Metzl and Macleish2), which is outrages to think that these shooters were able to even get ahold of high capacity magazine guns. Some would think this is not a big deal and guns are guns but what is misunderstood is that when these high capacity guns were used for mass shootings the death percentage rose 63% and the injury rate 156% (Metzl and Macleish2). It’s absurd to know that this is true and there still isn’t strong regulations to stop this conflict. Even so that these shooters need to be stopped in action and states like Texas that are all for concealed carry still never had a civilian stop a shooter in action so even thinking that these guns can be useful for civilians is hard to understand because out of all the shootings between 1982 thru 2012 were even stopped by any civilians and in fact they were all stopped by law enforcement. The average gun owner, no matter how responsible, isn’t trained in law enforcement and does not know how to handle life-threatening situations, so in most ways, if a threat is happening, increasing the number of guns only creates more conflict and dangerous situations.
The Gun or The Man
Now you may ask yourself after all these leading problems with gun laws and regulations for helping to keep society safe but what can possibly be the problem with gun laws affecting mass shootings in the United states. A lot of the time it’s just some crazy kid that turned bad and is angry from something that happened in the past but surely there are a lot of times where these active shooters are just plain crazy in the head and have a serious mental issues that are going on in their life. For instance, on the morning of Dec. 14, 2012, carrying more than 30 pounds of weapons and ammunition, Adam Lanza shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary school(fox1). After this incident it was later announced that the shooter was schizophrenic. When you hear this announcement it could mean that maybe the shooter went to go buy the gun and later decided to go shoot up the school and its all the seller fault for not having a proper backgrounding check for these costumers or maybe even these so called mentally ill shouldn’t even be near guns in the first place. Of course, scripts linking guns and mental illness arise in the aftermath of many US mass shootings. Reports suggest that up to 60% of mass shootings in the United States since 1970 displayed symptoms including acute paranoia, delusions, and depression before committing their crimes(Metzl and Macleish2). In Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooter James Holmes “was seeing a psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia” before he opened fire in a crowded theater(Metzl and Macleish2). Another case of these mentally ill shooters where Jared Loughner, a gunman from Arizona, would “laugh randomly and loudly at nonevents” which would have all his classmates scared, worried, and confused, he later went on to shoot US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and six other people at a rally in front of a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona were shot. That is when I ask myself, is it the gun laws that need to be fixed or is it the people with mental disorders and extreme episodes of depression.
Knowing that, yes gun laws have proven to lower mass shooting rates and also regulations to keep people from getting these guns. I stand with believing that it is not the gun that kills people it is the person behind the gun that does the killing. If the person behind the gun is filled with a mental issue history or is on mental medication, there should be no reason that a gun should ever be in the hands of these people. There have been many of mass shootings in the US in the past decade and it only continues to get worse and worse, yet people still continue to gravitate towards the problem being gun laws. Even the worst mass shooting in American history, Stephen Paddock, who killed 58 people and wounded hundreds of people attending a country concert in Las Vegas, Even was victimized by his doctor to be known to have a bipolar disorder and was said to be by police “odd” and someone who would show “little to no emotion”(Lochhead1). Paddock primary care doctor has not done the annual checkup since October 2016, about a year before the shooting occurred (Lochhead1). Now I am not saying that all these shooters have mental issues are problems because a lot of these mass shootings are planned. On the other hand, a stricter background check on mental health information before being able to own a gun will drop these mass shooting rates far more than just banning guns.
ProCon.org, “Gun Control.” ProCon.org. n.d., gun-control.procon.org/
“Armed Civilians Are Unlikely to Stop Crimes and Are More Likely to Make Dangerous Situations, Including Mass Shootings, More Deadly.” Gun Control, gun-control.procon.org/arguments/armed-civilians-are-unlikely-to-stop-crimes-and-are-more-likely-to-make-dangerous-situations-including-mass-shootings-more-deadly/.
“American Public Health Association (APHA).” American Public Health Association (APHA) Publications, ajph.aphapublications.org/.
Lochhead, Colton. “Las Vegas Shooting Report Explores Gunman’s Mental Health.” Journal, 7 Nov. 2018, www.reviewjournal.com/crime/shootings/las-vegas-shooting-report-explores-gunmans-mental-health/.
“Report: Sandy Hook Shooter Adam Lanza Was Obsessed With Mass Shootings.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/11/25/report-sandy-hook-shooter-adam-lanza-was-obsessed-with-mass-shootings.