Humans+fear+hate+guns= nothing good
Enough already. Enough with the finger-pointing, the vitriol, and the partisan nonsense. Enough. Gun violence and mental illness are just two sides of a die that also includes fear, isolation, loss of control, distrust of authorities (e.g. government, media, law enforcement), and a devaluation of individual human lives.
So far in 2023, there have been 208 reported mass shootings in the US. To be classified as a mass shooting, there must be at least four casualties (injured and/or killed). Gun Violence Archive (GVA) maps show that mass shootings generally occur in cities: Greater Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Raleigh, Columbus, Metropolitan Dallas, Memphis, New Orleans, and California’s South Bay. The first mass shooting reported in 2023 was at a bar in Columbus, OH when an argument escalated in a group of men leading to one man being killed, four injured, and two taken into custody. The most recent as of this writing was a shootout at a house party in Adelanto, CA that included “back and forth gunfire,” two guns, five people injured, and two people dead, including a 14-year-old girl.
At least half of the reported events occurred at parties and bars. Several were identified as gang and drug-related; others were domestic disputes and disgruntled employees. Many have no motive listed, which makes it difficult to chart a path toward limiting future events. Based on a review of all the recent cases, it seems reasonable to place mass shooting into one of three general categories: emotion, hate, and mental illness.
Bar disputes, parties crowded with people, domestic violence, and workplace shootings might all be prompted by emotions out of control. Gun laws currently in effect could mitigate some of these; many of the shooters are too young to legally purchase guns, others were already felons who cannot own guns, and still others were in the U.S. without legal documentation, another category of people who cannot legally own guns. Enforcing existing laws will not eliminate gun violence, but there is no point in passing more laws if the ones currently on the books are not enforced.
Hate crimes are harder to define. Hate toward individuals or hate toward groups of people? What defines hate? Are gang…