As of this past Saturday the United States experienced the 233rd mass-shooting of 2021 when yet another incident took the lives of two people and injured 20 more in a night club shooting that happened in Florida.
And just last Wednesday nine people in San Jose California were gunned down by one of their co-workers.
Let that sink in…233 mass shootings in just five months!
Something needs to be done about this crisis. And it is a CRISIS!
Of course, the first thing people will debate is whether stricter gun control laws would help alleviate the problem. The left will say yes, the right will cry, don’t take my guns.
They’ll debate whether semi-automatic rifles should be banned.
The left will say you don’t use a semi-automatic rifle to go hunting so why do you need one to defend yourself or your home? And why do you need 20 of them?
The right will say they need semi-automatic rifles, it is their second amendment right to own one and they need all 20 or more, to defend themselves and America.
The National Rifle Association always pushes the mantra, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
While it does take a person to physically pull the trigger, another argument that could be made is, if the suspect used a BB gun or smaller caliber weapon, would all nine victims in the California incident have died?
But then again that is hard to know because, until more recently, most mass shootings in the United States were committed by people using handguns.
But yes, if he would have used a BB gun it would be a completely different story.
In the nightclub shooting in Florida three people jumped out of a White Nissan Pathfinder, brandishing assault rifles and just started randomly shooting into a crowd standing outside the club.
So, the argument continues. Should we tighten gun control? Or should we lessen current restrictions?
But are guns the real issue here?
This is the time to sit down and have serious conversations on why these incidents are taking place in the first place. Why are these shooters feeling the need to go out and kill a group of people? Who are they targeting and why?
In the San Jose case, the ex-wife of the suspect, who killed himself when police arrived on scene, said the suspect had talked about killing his co-workers for about a decade but never acted on it. That is until last week.
The suspect was described as moody and a bit abusive, especially when intoxicated.
What pushed him over the edge? What made last Wednesday the day to carry out the deed?
According to media reports, the suspect walked by some workers while shooting at others, almost as if he purposely picked his victims.
Why? Were these co-workers bullying him? Did they mistreat him?
Unfortunately, we will never know his motive, but more needs to be done to find out why there’s been a sudden surge of mass-shootings.
In March, there was a mass shooting in Atlanta where the suspect appeared to have targeted Asians. Was it a hate crime? Did he have another reason to target his victims?
Did a year-long lock down due to COVID give folks more time to plan these killings? Was it due to COVID caused anxiety or depression?
Of course, some of these mass shootings are carried out by folks who suffer from mental illness. But NOT ALL suspects who carry out these types of horrific crimes are mentally ill.
I know that opens another area for debate because some people might think that anyone who would commit such a crime must be or have some form of mental illness. But if you look at most of the research out there, that is just not the case.
Some mass shootings or mass killings are politically or racially motivated by people who are completely sane or with no previous diagnosis of mental illness.
Have we become so polarized with one another that settling arguments means killing off everyone with opposing points of view or values? Or killing off people who have a different skin-tone or ethnic background?
Have we become numb to hate and hate crimes that reaching 233 mass shootings is just another day in the USA?
It’s beginning to feel that way.
Gun owners are always going to fight for their right to bear arms. Heck, I own guns. I may not have a semi-automatic rifle, but I have a handgun and shotgun.
What we need are more open discussions on tolerance, equality, restoring social norms and acceptance.
We need to figure out what is behind the thoughts and behaviors of the people committing these crimes, so we can understand what needs to be done to help restore some peace.