29 September 2019
America’s Problem with Shootings
One of the most recent reoccurring events happens to be that of mass shootings. This is a problem that plagues all the United States because when one thinks of a shooting the first thought is death, and that is what many are, and the nation weeps for the losses had on such a tragic day. These frequent occurrences have caused people to associate loud noises in USA to a shooting taking place, this was the case last month in August when a motorcycle backfired in New York’s Times Square causing people to clear the area; running for their lives. New York is a diverse area where people from other countries come to visit, so worryingly, for the go to reaction is to run for your life by everyone because of a loud sound that a cause for concern of what the image is that we portray to other countries. This problem, mass shooting is one that this nation must resolve the following are but three that can be implemented to help with shootings; arm the people with guns to defend themselves, all sellers must perform background checks on buyers, and take ideas from other nations which have lower gun deaths.
One of the main issues is the amount of focus the media has on the shooters themselves. This focus on the shooters that committed such heinous acts is an issue as media brings to attentions the person as if the person is important, Adam Lankford, one of the nation’s leading academics who studies mass shootings says “The Charleston church shooter received more than $17 million worth of free advertising in media mentions” (Morris). The amount of publicity of having the shooters face on the news on all the important channels [Fox, CNN…] has also caused an effect of being a “source of inspiration by multiple copycats” (Morris). Another of the issues is that all of the worst shooting in the U.S, have in common is the weaponry the AR-15, The worst to date would be the “2017 Las Vegas shooting, which left 58 dead, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history”(Jenkins). This has put at fault the accessibility of obtaining the weapon and how effective the gun is at doing what it does. These issues are but a few of the underling problems that have led up to causing mass shootings and thus some type if solution must be reached.
A solution to the shootings themselves is to have people able to defend themselves is such situations. Such a situation has happened and that was when “An off-duty law-enforcement officer who was working at the theater confronted Garcia and shot him four times, ending the threat” (Krey). This situation was favorable in this case as the off-duty law-enforcement officer was able to stop the threat before the situation worsened. In the New York Amsterdam News it mentions that the current President, President Trump is also in favor of this course of action, as when a different shooting occured, the Presidents thoughts were that “if more people were armed like one of the men in pursuit of gunman Kelley there would have been fewer fatalities” (Boyd). The issue with such a solution is that in the first case it was an off-duty officer which go through training in handling and usage of guns, that is their job.
Another solution is that all sellers of weaponry must perform a background check on the individual to verify that they are cleared to buy a gun. This is the case with all sellers that obtain a federal license to sell weapons. The issue is that a private party does not have to ask for you ID and is not able to do a background check. When federal licensed business that sell gun have done a background check during 1994-2015 “865,910 denials” (Kohrman and Mascia) have occurred when using NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System). This is an issue since “Undocumented private party transactions account for as many as 40% of all gun sales” (Wintemute). The areas that such transaction happen would be Gun Show, where anyone can buy a weapon if they can afford it.
When looking for a solution to shootings, one must look at other places to see where they are being successful and implement those ideas into our own country. One of the European countries that has a substantial gun-owning civilian population is Finland. The USA had “more than 36,000 people die from gunshot injuries” (Mascia), compared to that of Finland’s death rate of “132” (WHO). This is a substantial amount and it could perhaps be because of their compulsory military service. If everyone had respect for weapons and understood what they are capable of doing, then perhaps the shootings would lessen due to the understanding that guns have the potential to end lives and cause pain to everyone involved.
These are but three solutions to a problem that has many more when the subject is as complex as mass shooting. Each of the solutions tackle the problems from a different angle, although one may be more controversial than another. The first solution tackles the problem by adding the deterrent into the mind of a possible shooter that everyone at a location will be armed, they will fight back, and the chance of death is likely, aka its suicidal to attack, this is similar to the concept of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) but not quite . The second faces the issue by trying to prevent the guns from falling into the hands of the ‘wrong’ people; although who the ‘wrong’ people are something that is subject to prejudice. The third solution is based on the idea of informing the people, and that with the information or experience that one has on the subject they are capable of making a better ‘informed’ decision which in this case would be the dangers that guns have when used in an ill-fitting matter. Each of the solution have their point of view and each of them offer an instance in which one may be applied better considering the circumstances.
Morris, Angela. “GOING NAMELESS AND FACELESS: Do Journalists Deserve Some Blame for America’s Mass Shootings?” Editor & Publisher, vol. 152, no. 1, Jan. 2019, pp. 44–49. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=133903005&site=ehost-live.
This article provides information on why some mass shooting happen and how media provides information about the assailant which often provides inspiration for other to follow in suit in hopes of imitating or surpassing the ‘legacy’ left behind. It discusses how media spreads gunman’s story which causes trouble for law enforcement. It will be used to support the position of how media inspires mass shootings. This is a reliable source as it is from EBSCO.
Jenkins, Aric. “Many Mass Shootings in America Have 1 Thing in Common: AR-15 Rifles.” Time.Com, Feb. 2018, p. 1. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=128049334&site=ehost-live.
This article provides information on what enables mass shooting to happen. It blames the accessibility and effectiveness of the gun in doing what it does in mass shootings. This source will be used in explaining the problems of mass shooting. This is a reliable source from EBSCO that provides some statistics.
KREY, PATRICK. “Solution to Mass Shootings.” New American (08856540), vol. 29, no. 3, Feb. 2013, p. 40. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=86214952&site=ehost-live.
This article provides information on a possible solution that can stop mass shooting causalities from happening. The solution is a ‘good guy with a gun’ to help combat the danger of a person wanting to cause mass death. This source will be one of the body paragraphs of the paper which outline a possible solution to mass shooting. This is a reliable source as it is from EBSCO.
BOYD, HERB. “More Guns Is Trump’s Answer.” New York Amsterdam News, vol. 108, no. 45, 9 Nov. 2017, p. 4. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ulh&AN=126623802&site=ehost-live.
This article provides information on President Trumps outlook on what should be done to prevent mass shootings. He wants to have more people own guns so that more people can defend themselves. This source will be one of the body paragraphs of the paper which outline a possible solution to mass shooting. This is a reliable source as it is from the newspaper ‘New York Amsterdam News’ found on EBSCO.
WINTEMUTE, GAREN. “What Goes on When Everybody Thinks Nobody’s Watching.” Violence Prevention Research Program, UC Davis, Sep. 2009. ProCon.org, https://health.ucdavis.edu/vprp/pdf/IGS/IGSexecsummweb.pdf
This report gives an idea of the number of guns being sold that require no background check. It brings into light how this practice is favored by those who want anonymity that comes with buying guns from a private party. This source will be one of the body paragraphs of the paper which outline a possible solution to mass shooting. This information was found from ProCon whose study was from UC Davis.
WHO. 2019 ‘Inter-country Comparison of Mortality for Selected Causes of Death.’ WHO Mortality Data Base. Geneva: World Health Organization. 23 September
This page provided information relevant to Finland. The relevant information in this case was the number of deaths by guns from the year 2015. This source will be part of a body paragraph that deals with a possible solution to mass shooting. This is a reliable source as it comes from WHO (World Health Organization).
Mascia, Jennifer. “15 Statistics That Tell the Story of Gun Violence in 2015.” The Trace, 2 Oct. 2018, https://www.thetrace.org/2015/12/gun-violence-stats-2015/.
This article provided pertinent information concerning the deaths by gun in the USA. It also provides statistics of who are most affected by shootings and what areas have shootings. This source will compare its deaths to another country in a body paragraph. It is a reliable source because it is a nonprofit that deals with helping spread information on gun violence in the USA.
Kohrman, Miles, and Jennifer Mascia. “How a Federal Gun Background Check Works.” The Trace, 9 Sept. 2019, https://www.thetrace.org/2015/07/gun-background-check-nics-guide/.
This article provides pertinent information on the background checks done at federal ally approved locations that sell guns. It goes into the numbers of how many people have been denied over the years when using the system. This source will be used in the body paragraph to help enforce how bad not having background check are. It is a reliable source because it is a nonprofit that deals with helping spread information on gun violence in the USA.