We are barely over halfway through 2023, and already, there have been over 470 mass shootings in the U.S.
We need to take action against gun violence, yet very little is being done around the country to counter these violent acts. In 2021, 48,830 people died from gun-related injuries in the U.S. This could be somebody's mom, dad, brother, sister, friend, guardian, or teacher. The list goes on. No matter who you are, we can all do something to help, whether that is joining a charity to combat gun violence or spreading awareness in your local community. A gunshot takes away life so fast, but the impact is everlasting.
Image Credit: Pexels
What are mass shootings, and why are these dangerous?
Firstly, the definition of a mass shooting is an incident involving guns where four or more people are brutally injured or killed. Over three years in the U.S., there have been more than 600 mass shootings, which is nearly two daily on average. The constant state of fear and anxiety that the people of America live in is detrimental to the mental health of the children and adults of the U.S. As someone who lives in the U.K., when I read shocking statistics like the one above, I feel guilty for taking the environment I live in for granted. At my school, we never had to practice a shooter drill or even have the idea cross our minds. School shootings are very common in the U.S., and if you cannot feel safe in a place of education where you are meant to be nurtured and protected, then where can you feel safe? Unfortunately, between 1982 and 2023, there were many mass shootings in America, but 25 of these were considered the worst mass shootings in American History. One of these horrific events was the Las Vegas Strip Massacre of 2017. On October 1st, Stephen Paddock attacked the innocent crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Nevada. This tragic event injured 546 people, and 58 lives were lost, which is 604 victims in total. That is only 200 people, less than the entire population of Vatican City. All of this pain, trauma, and loss of life because of one person and their gun.
How people are helping
The U.S. is one of the Top 10 civilian gun-owning countries, with a ratio of 120.5 firearms per 100 residents. This figure skyrockets past any of the other countries where civilians are allowed to own firearms. Many people feel protective of owning their firearms for security purposes and protecting themselves and their families.
However, many people believe that the laws around owning firearms should be made much harsher. On February 4th, 2018, there was a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen students were killed, and fourteen were injured. This event sparked a youth organization called 'March for Our Lives' created by the students who survived this attack. This group protests for harsher rules around gun ownership due to the increase in gun violence. Gun violence can take many forms, such as domestic abuse and mass shootings in schools and other public areas. Another organization working hard to combat this growing issue is 'Everytown for Gun Safety.' This is a joint partnership between 'Mayors Against Illegal Guns,' a coalition of mayors fighting to end Gun Violence, and 'Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America,' a movement to protect people from gun violence in America. Over ten million people volunteer for this organization to build awareness of gun violence and the lawmakers involved to work towards a brighter future.
Image Credit: Pexels
Lawmakers need to see the bigger picture.
Since the beginning of 2022, 32 bills have been filed in 17 American States targeting Drag Queen shows. The feeble reasoning behind this is that drag shows are damaging the youth of America. This is simply outrageous.
The opinion that drag shows are harmful to the youth of America is nothing more than an opinion. It is a proven fact that mass shootings and gun violence are one of the main reasons for children's deaths in the USA. Yet nothing is being done about it. Drag is a beautiful way for people to express themselves in the way they feel most comfortable. It harms no one. It inspires people to be themselves and express their creativity in a whole new way they maybe didn't know was possible. Drag is an entertainment style that has been used since 1870 and possibly before then. Never has it been recorded to harm or influence children negatively. But in 2023, more than 25000 have been killed because of mass shootings. The real issues need to be addressed, not the fictional ones.
How can we combat this problem?
Two of the main ways to help prevent further tragic incidents are tighter laws around gun violence and purchasing firearms, such as gun regulation. Gun regulations or gun control restrict access to the purchase and possession of firearms. Limiting gun access can help to save lives and lower crime rates.
In addition, gun violence needs to be recognized as a threat to people's human rights. This, as well as continuous education on gun violence and its reoccurring impact on people's lives and their families, can help combat this tragic issue. However, all the protests, student walkouts, and articles such as this one all play a major role in helping to shed light on the issues of gun violence. People do not deserve to live in fear. Across the world, we see it is achievable to live a peaceful and safe life. We need the legislators and governments to see the real problems at hand.
However, we are fortunate enough to be able to use our voices and stand up for what we believe is right. By joining a charity or organization dedicated to combating gun violence, we can make small changes toward a better, brighter, and safer future.