Magazine Opinions Volume 69, Issue 1

Why Are There So Many Mass Shootings in the US?

by Katelyn To

When there have been more mass shootings this year than there have been days, that’s when you know America has a serious problem. There have been a staggering total of 255 mass shootings as of August 5th this year; that’s 255 too many. America needs to take action before this number continues to increase.

Donald Trump can cry mental illness all he wants, but what he should be crying about is gun control; according to USA Today, there is little to no correlation between mental illness and shootings. He and some reporters even blame violent video games, (yet Japan and South Korea are bigger consumers of video games than the US, while still boasting some of the lowest violent crime rates in the world.) Out of the three countries, the US is the only country with mass shooting rates this high. 

So, what exactly do they do differently? For starters, both countries have very strict gun laws. Japan, in particular, requires all citizens to take a day-long class, pass tests, go through evaluations, and repeat the process every three years to be allowed to own and use a gun. As a result, they maintain one of the lowest gun violence rates. 

Other countries also lack something that we don’t, which seems to become more and more prevalent in America every day that Trump is in office: white supremacy. Coincidence? Maybe not. Recently, a 21-year-old white man shot and killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. He is a huge Trump supporter, which was made clear on his Twitter profile. He posted a photo of guns that were positioned on the floor to spell out “Trump,” along with a caption exuding his loyalty to him. He’d also liked many of Trump’s own tweets, and to make matters worse, he’s a white supremacist. The shooter had driven ten hours just to get to El Paso, making it clear that it was no random target location, and later it was found that he did so in response to the “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” More specifically, the shooter had written an anti-immigrant manifesto prior to the attack, which stated his support for the gunman who killed 51 people in a mosque in New Zealand, and revealed his extreme case of xenophobia, or prejudice against people from other countries.

Multiple things may come into play when attempting to determine the reason for America’s gun addiction. But two things can be known for sure: gun regulation needs to happen now, and Trump isn’t doing anything to help it.