Mass shootings happen about every two weeks (“Behind the bloodshed, 2013, para. 3). After a mass shooting, many people ask these two same questions: How did the mental health system default them? How did he or she get such a powerful weapon? However, these questions do not have to be asked because these tragic shootings can be prevented. This can be done by taking better care of the mentally ill, enacting better gun control laws, and by not allowing violence in video
Since 1982, there have been over 85 mass shootings in the United States. Of those 85 shootings, three quarters of the weapons used were obtained legally. That means that our background check system has failed. If purchasers were required to undergo a mental health evaluation, numerous lives would be saved. Many mass shooters have shown previous signs of mental instability. Take Jared Loughner, the man who opened fire at a public constituent meeting in a Tucson, Arizona supermarket parking lot wounding 13 people and killing 6. Loughner had been showing signs of mental illness for years. He was even suspended from college for disrupting class and showing bizarre behavior. The college told him he needed to be cleared by a mental health professional before he could return. Instead, Loughner dropped out of school. In addition to his disruptions at school, he had many run ins with law enforcement. In fact, on the day of the shooting,
A major concern in the United States is why mass shootings occur and what needs to be done to stop them from happening. Mass shootings have gained a significant amount of attention in 2015. Within the year, a total of 372 mass shootings have occurred in the United States killing 475 people and wounding 1,870. Mass shootings have become a popular trend within the media and have given the impression that it is the new normal. Mass shootings are a dysfunction to society, due to the fact that they create horror and tragedy within the country. Schools, shopping malls, and even movie theatres have all endured the horrific violence. Mass shootings are nothing new, however, they seem to be occurring more often and are becoming more and more violent. The three leading factors to mass shootings are problematic masculinity, mental illness, and gun control.
Mass murders have become somewhat of an epidemic in the U.S. There are many notable shootings within our recent history; so many that they’ve become somewhat normalized in today’s society. The Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in 2012 is one of the well-known shootings that has occurred in the past five years. I remember when I first heard of the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut. Even though it occurred far away, it hit close to home, and I broke down after hearing that twenty young lives had been taken. The shooter, Adam Lanza, had been diagnosed with mental health disorders and reportedly had an obsession with mass shootings. In the article, “Adam Lanza’s Mental Problems ‘Completely Untreated’ Before Newtown Shootings, Report
“Guns don’t kill people, people do.” This is a well known statement that is oftentimes considered true. However, it is not completely true. Someone who is mentally ill may be unable to make logical decisions and the perception they receive of reality may be tainted by the illness. Gun laws pertaining to those suffering mental illnesses should be more restrictive. Weapons such as guns make committing an act of violence, especially when there are multiple victims, much easier. It is difficult to assess the probability of a person to commit a violent act that harms anyone including himself/herself. Therefore, gun laws need be monitored very closely and made more consistent throughout each state in order to prevent violence that could
Another consideration is whether firearm violence is more a matter of harm to self or others. Suicides account for 61 % of all firearm fatalities in the United States in 2010 as recorded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (qtd. In Bowen, Injury 2015). In spite of such evidence, Gallup polling data from 2013 showed that 48 % of adult Americans blame the mental health system a great deal for mass shootings in the United States, whereas fewer 40 % blame easy access to guns; an inadequate mental health system is perceived as the top cause of mass shootings (qtd. In Bowen, Saad 2013).
Since the late 1970’s, there has been a strong correlation between mental health disorders and the perpetrators of mass shootings. “Up to 60% of the perpetrators have displayed symptoms including acute paranoia, delusions and depression before committing their crimes” (Metzl & Macleish, 2015). In the case of Adam Lanza, infamously known for the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, the history of his mental illnesses is quite extensive. However, it has been discovered that when it comes to mental illnesses, it is not influenced by one factor, but rather many factors that have integrated into the individual’s life (Sue, 2014). These factors began affecting Lanza’s life at only two years old, continuing throughout his lifetime until his heinous act of murder at the age of twenty. Throughout his
Next time there 's a mass shooting, don 't jump to blame the people with a mental illness and the people responsible for them. Look first at the NRA services that gave them the guns that caused the chaos and death, and the laws in the state where the shooting took place. People are so angry at the fact that criminals with an mental illness kill people and blame them. When really the gun is the reason why people die. Sure they pulled the trigger, but considering that
In this lengthy article “Guns Don’t Kill People, the Mentally Ill Do,” that was published in the Townhall Daily, the author, Ann Coulter, argues about a major prevailing issue today, gun control. She believes the problem isn’t the guns themselves, but the mentally disturbed people. Coulter credits the declining mental health system as the main setback. She supports her argument by providing tragic examples from mass shootings that took place in the past. One example was the 2011 shooting that took place in Tucson, Arizona where the shopping mall shooter, Jared Loughner was so obviously disturbed that he stated “If I stay long enough to make the
In the article, We stop the next Aurora not with gun control but with better mental health by David Dow a tense message is delivered. Dow argues that the two most common policy positions on mass shootings are lacking in thought. One policy is that there should be stricter gun laws and the other is that more people should be able to carry and conceal firearms. Dow states that both of these policies should be discarded. Dow believes that the guns are not the problem, but a person with severe mental illness is the problem .The core message behind the passage is that the mental illness inside of a person is to blame for these tragedies, not the guns in the hand
One of the worst cases of failed reporting of mental health checks was the Virginia Tech Massacre, in April 2007, where a Virginia Tech student named Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people and injured 17 others, then killed himself on the college campus in Blacksburg, Virginia (“Mental Health Reporting”). Cho bought a gun despite going through two background checks through licensed gun dealers and having a mental health history in the records that should have prevented him from receiving a gun. Although Virginia had some background check laws at the time, certain cases were masked from the system. But, this is not the only instance, in fact, there have been 102 mass shootings in 2017 alone, from January 1st-April 18 (“Mission.”). Though
Everyone’s off-target. Another horrible shooting, another young shooter. Eighteen years of death since West Paducah, Kentucky first warned of an epidemic. Finally, there’s invigorated debate about gun control and mental health care. But, there’s a glaring problem.
Has the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill led to the increase of mass shootings experienced in the US? According to Lankford, several reports suggest that up to 60% of offenders of mass shootings in the US since 1970, exhibited symptoms including depression, delusions, and acute paranoia prior to the commission of their crimes. Further statistics have shown that since 1982, there have been at least 71 public mass shooting across the country; with 34 of these mass shooting having occurred since 2006. A recent analysis of the database by researchers at Harvard University corroborated by a recent FBI study concluded that mass shootings have been on the rise. More than half of the cases involve school or workplace shootings, 12 and 20
Nine students were killed at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. A man opened fire in a church, in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people, including the pastor. Twenty-seven were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Twelve were killed in the Washington Navy Yard. This is only a few examples from a very long list. The grim truth is that mass shootings are becoming the new normal. Every few months, another mass shooting occurs and the public goes through the same routine of mourning, honoring, and ultimately debating. What causes these manic episodes of multiple, indiscriminate gun deaths? Some push for more gun control, others argue that the U.S. mental health system is a failure. Controversy aside,
The most extensive argument many have argued toward violent video games affecting one’s behavior can simply be described as that many shooters were fans of violent video games before committing the shootings. A common example people making this argument raise are the Columbine shooters, who were big fans of the video game Doom. While many believe that Doom’s excessive gore and violence led the two teens to perpetrate the mass shooting, that is not the case. What those who argue against video games fail to realize that those who commit these crimes had a history of other conditions. After many mass shootings, researchers often discovered in autopsies that the suspect had a long history of aggression or mental health problems that gaming was not responsible for. Patrick Markey and Christopher J. Ferguson, writers for US News, wrote