America First in School Shootings

America doesn’t want to be first.  At least not in school shootings.  But the truth is that we are; there are more school shootings in the United States than anywhere in the world.

Our country represents 5 % of the world population and 31% of its mass shooters since 1966.  That is not a statistic in which we can take pride.

Yet, I recently read that if we combined the Philippines, Russia, Yemen and France, there are 291 documented cases of mass shootings that took place between 1966-2012 (I have not calculated the percentage here since I do not know the total number).

And yes, it is true that the United States also leads in gun ownership (of 178 countries).   A 2007 survey revealed that there are 270 million firearms in US civilian households.

Now, we could easily be tempted to draw the obvious correlation and make the obvious argument.  But we would not be right because it just isn’t that simple.

What we have in our country is a mixed bag of unfortunate terrorist activities along with other mentally injured citizens who have somehow been able to get their hands on a firearm or multiple firearms.  That’s how we lead in mass shootings.  It has nothing to do with gun ownership but rather with perpetrators that desperately need help.  We need to get them that help but we could also look at stricter gun control to ensure that these folks are unable to obtain any weapon they might use to hurt others.

When people are sick, they either hurt themselves or exact their pain on others.

How do we find them before they get to this point and how do we prevent them from having access to weapons?  That’s the question!  Let’s address the causal concern rather than appeasing the squeaky wheels!!

About the author, Saleh

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