“After another deadly weekend,
mass shootings across the country,
we know–oh, how we know–how high the stakes,
how polarized the public:
the desperation for liberty, equality, and justice
and the rage and backlash against it.”
― Shellen Lubin
This is not an article about the second ammendent of the USA Constitution, but rather an observance from someone who looks from afar.
Nobody wakes up in the morning worrying about if I go to church, night club, or even a friendly game of baseball with collegues, am I safe from a mass shooter.
From elementary, secondary, university, places of worship, and social club gathering to enoy a night out with friends or partners, movie theaters, and even shopping for groceries, America has seen that there is no place that is safe from somebody opening fire with a semi-automatic rifle causing mass casualities.
No Longer Nuclear Drills
It is the understanding of this blogger that schools no longer have drills about what to do in the event of a bombing, but rather the drills now focus on the premise of an “active shooter“. I ask myself how does any student focus on what is being taught when in their thoughts are the worries about if there will be a mass shooting in their place of learning. How distracting that must be!
Mass Shootings By Country
Below is a list showing the ranking of countries according to mass shootings:
Average (Mean) Annual Death Rate per Million People from Mass Public Shootings (U.S., Canada, and Europe, 2009-2015):
- Norway — 1.888
- Serbia — 0.381
- France — 0.347
- Macedonia — 0.337
- Albania — 0.206
- Slovakia — 0.185
- Switzerland — 0.142
- Finland — 0.132
- Belgium — 0.128
- Czech Republic — 0.123
- United States — 0.089
- Austria — 0.068
- Netherlands — 0.051
- Canada — 0.032
- England — 0.027
- Germany — 0.023
- Russia — 0.012
- Italy — 0.009
I grew up with uncles, cousins, and friends who would take me along while they would go hunting for geese, rabbits, and even pheasants. I was not allowed to touch their shotguns for I was under age and it was prohibited by law. If they would have let me they could lose their hunting license and maybe even a lifetime ban. They taught me respect for a gun, they would explain why they held the shotgun in certain manners, while walking the gun was always pointed at the ground and never pointed, not even in joking around, point the gun at any person. One uncle showed me how he packed his own shotgun shells, how much bebees and gun powder to place in each shell, even how to crimp the shell to close it up.
Injuries and Deaths Due to Firearms in the Home
Objective: Determine the relative frequency with which guns in the home are used to injure or kill in self-defense, compared with the number of times these weapons are involved in an unintentional injury, suicide attempt, or criminal assault or homicide.
Methods: We reviewed the police, medical examiner, emergency medical service, emergency department, and hospital records of all fatal and nonfatal shootings in three U.S. cities: Memphis, Tennessee; Seattle, Washington; and Galveston, Texas.
Results: During the study interval (12 months in Memphis, 18 months in Seattle, and Galveston) 626 shootings occurred in or around a residence. This total included 54 unintentional shootings, 118 attempted or completed suicides, and 438 assaults/homicides. Thirteen shootings were legally justifiable or an act of self-defense, including three that involved law enforcement officers acting in the line of duty. For every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides.
Conclusions: Guns kept in homes are more likely to be involved in a fatal or nonfatal accidental shooting, criminal assault, or suicide attempt than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense.
My heart races everytime the first headline of a news broadcast is about a mass shooter. My indignation rises in me and I find myself almost yelling at the television, “this has got to stop. Someone needs to step up to the plate and find the answer!“
Mad As Hell
In the movie, “Network(1976) Howard Beale, played by, Peter Finch, is a newscaster who decides he will kill himself on live TV, after hearing his show will be cancelled due to declining ratings. But instead, he launches into a rant about the state of the nation and the “bullshit” of modern American life. He’s having a breakdown, live on air, and the ratings go through the roof. He galvanises the American people into screaming his words from their windows: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this any more!”Imran Rahman -Jones
I find myself making the same comment each and everytime there has been an active mass shooter, “what a waste of life”. The loss of life, the families and friends of the victims, all impacted by a person with a army styled rifle goes on a shooting spree. Then there is the shooter, if there is no death penalty, will spend the rest of his days in a 4×6 cell until he breathes his last breath.
How many future doctors, lawyers, scientists, and maybe some Nobel laureate, have been cut down before coming into their own. The generations that have been lost never knowing the joy of having a lifetime partner, the joy of holding a new born baby, and in their later years, the happiness of enjoying grandchildren.
The answer to this predictament is beyond my pay grade. What is the answer, what should be done to end this epidemic of mass killings?
The majority wants answers, actions, that will keep this AR-15 rifles out of the hands of those whose only purpose is to cause mass carnage.
So dear reader, are you like the broadcaster in the movie, are you screaming;
““I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this any more!”
(p.s.: in an upcoming post I would like to address the targets of a mass shooter)