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Children Featured USA

Again a Mass Shooting on Children. Why is America Killing Itself?

An 18 year old gunman on May 25 killed 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in South Texas, USA. The world is shocked by yet again a mass shooting of children in America.

The teenager gunman is identified as Salvador Ramosis who was shot dead by the police. He was suspected to have killed her grandmother before conducting an open fire on Robb Elementary School In Uvalde.

Robb elementary school

He had an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and high-capacity magazines, reports confirmed.

The motive for the gun rampage by the teenager is still not clear.

Family members could not help but just sob and emerged in inconsolable grief and loss. Small children who witnessed the incident would go on with trauma and fear throughout their lives.

Texas mass shooting
Source: Marco Bello/Reuters

US president Joe Biden said he is just sick and tired of mass shootings in the USA and access to military style weapons by the youths.

“When in God’s name will we do what needs to be done to, not completely stop, but fundamentally change the amount of carnage that goes on in this country,” he said. “To state the obvious, I’m sick and tired, I’m just sick and tired of what is going on, what continues to go on.”

This is a shocking tragedy but very familiar to the American citizens. Ten days have passed since we witnessed ten killings in a mass shooting in New York.

Victims of school shooting graph

This ever increasing tragedy of gun rampage is almost unique to the USA. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the USA mass shootings have taken more lives of children and teenagers than the car accidents which is 4300 killings in 2020 itself. 

Graph showing causes of death of American children

Robb Elementary School again sparked the debate over gun control laws in America but the solution again seems distant.

Heightened Gun Culture in the USA

Small Arms Survey, a Switzerland based research project, assumed that there are 390 million guns in private hands in the USA in 2018.

Graph showing civilian gun-owning countries

This huge number of firearms wielded by the general public and the power of money and gun lobby groups definitely would become a hard barrier to changing something into concrete.

Unfortunately, mass shootings are common incidents in America. 

According to the Gun Violence Archive, an independent data collection organisation, the year 2022 already witnessed 213 mass shootings which is an average of 10 mass 

shootings in a week. The preceding year reported 693 mass shootings while the year 2020 saw 611 such incidents. It shows how the rate of mass shootings has been increasing fast.

Reasons for Gun shootings

Mental health of Shooter

Generally public views such shooters as crazy and unreasonable. But this is not the case. There is a well-planned strategy and rational thought process behind every attack. Mark Follman who has been researching mass shootings since 2012 says that such incidents come from nowhere. They are planned and there are always warning signs behind them. Mr Follman asserted the deployment of Behaviour Threat Assessment Teams in schools and workplaces to recognize and help troubled people and prevent such horrible incidents.

Personal Safety

It has been reported by the FBI that shooting incidents increased the sale of weapons further. People fear more about their own safety and hence go for more personal weapons rather than giving them up.

Gun Lobby

National Rifle Association (NRA) opposes all the measures that propose to control gun ownership. The NRA is the largest gun lobby in America which has the power and substantial budget to influence congress members in America on gun policy. The NRA argues that more guns make the country safer. It promoted the disputed interpretation of the second amendment of the US constitution which says that American citizens have the right to bear arms without Government oversight. It supports all gun laws that promote more gun dissemination like open-carry laws that allow citizens to carry arms unconcealed in public places.

What do American Citizens Want?

People in America are in support of policies for gun control laws. According to one survey, the Politico Survey, 84% of people in America want to impose universal background checks before a gun purchase.

But opinion differed among the public about stricter gun laws in America.

A poll conducted by Gallup shows that only 52% of people want a stricter policy on gun control laws. While only 19% of people in 2021 support a ban on handguns which is the lowest rating. 

Political Stand on Gun Control

Democrats in Congress have always been in favour of stricter gun laws to minimise the mass shootings in the USA. While Republicans and some Democrats are in opposition to such strict gun control policies.

Prevention of future mass shootings 

Debate is going on as to what should have been done to stop this gun massacre.

Some of the suggestions as forwarded by the public in the USA:

  1. Enforcement of strict laws and regulations and gun requirements.
  2. Banning all semi-automatic firearms with quick ability to load and reload magazines.
  3. Make the States more responsible
  4. Massachusetts gun laws can become role models for other states also. This law stipulates enhanced bars and standards for gun ownership. It required the owner to maintain safe storage, transportation and usage of firearms. It also specifies a renewal period to make the system dynamic and trackable.
  5. Enforcement of responsibility on all the gun owners.
  6. Political alignment and togetherness to develop strategies to stop the gun rampage.

Key Takeaways

Children in the USA are more likely to die in gun attacks than in any other high income country. it is due to the huge prevalence of firearms in private hands. Everybody is stunned and pondering why America is not making significant efforts to stop such mass shootings and letting its children die with regularity. Whether it is suicides, accidents or planned attacks on children and adults, it is not going to change until the guns are left uncontrolled and unsecured.