Opinion: We Need to do More to Prevent Mass Shootings
Did you know that 30,000 lives are taken every year due to gun violence? With the recent mass shootings happening this past week, I feel more needs to be done to help stop the needless deaths that are happening all too frequently within our nation. Just this past week, 6 individuals were killed at a Virginia Walmart on Tuesday night, while this past Saturday saw the shooting of five people at Club Q in Colorado.
Gun deaths overall in the United States are staggering. Within 2020 alone, Americans died from more firearm-related injuries than any other year. Active shooter incidents have also increased substantially according to data from the FBI. The incidents have increased substantially since 2000. The United States alone has the highest gun death rate compared to other developed nations. These statistics are alarming, considering the abundance of resources we have, we must control gun violence.
Our US Congress recently made a step in the right direction by passing legislation after nearly three decades to require extensive background checks. The passing of this legislation is a considerable milestone for both our country and for every citizen. Even with the recently passed gun laws, mass shootings are still disproportionately high nationwide. You may be asking yourself: Why should I care? How do we stop these mass shootings then? There are steps that we can all take to help reduce these endless tragedies that will help keep our communities safer, which is something we all want.
- Encourage open conversations about mental health-Encourage meaningful conversation with all your close loved ones, especially our men who may be reluctant to discuss their feelings.
- Store firearms in a safe and secure location - Having any weapon secured will help stop unauthorized use.
- Discuss gun safety practices-Have conversations about gun safety and the seriousness weapons can pose to others. This will help encourage awareness of the responsibilities of owning a firearm entail.
A future where there is less gun violence is possible. Discussions of mental health and gun safety are crucial to help curb the rise in gun violence. It is all too often that individuals that commit such crimes often struggle with a range of emotions that talking to someone may help them overcome. Proper gun storage is also crucial to help stop firearms from reaching those who may be a danger to others with the firearm. Though these steps may appear small or trivial, if enough individuals followed suit, we may start to see considerable progress toward less violence locally and nationwide. Your help can make this happen!