No! Not another school shooting!
There is no single reason America has more gun deaths than other industrialized countries. Instead, it is likely the result of a complex interplay of factors, including access to firearms, mental health issues, cultural attitudes toward violence and gun ownership, and various social and economic factors.
One factor that sets the United States apart from other industrialized countries is its relatively high firearm ownership rate. According to the Small Arms Survey, the United States has the world’s highest civilian gun ownership rate. We’ve all heard the myth that ‘good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns.’ While there have been instances where armed civilians have stopped mass shootings or other violent crimes, research suggests that such cases are rare and that the presence of guns increases the risk of violence. Evidence also suggests that the relatively permissive gun laws in many parts of the country contribute to the higher rates of gun violence seen in the United States compared to other countries.
On the human side, many individuals who engage in violent behavior may have underlying mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or personality disorders, which can contribute to their behavior. Individuals who have experienced trauma are also more likely to engage in violent behavior. The United States has higher rates of poverty, income inequality, and social isolation than many other industrialized countries, all of which can contribute to higher rates of violence, including gun violence.
We must balance protecting our Second Amendment rights and our children. Surely we can do that much. Here are some commonsense proposals that a majority of Americans support:
Universal background checks
Red flag laws allow family members, law enforcement, or others to petition the court to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who may threaten themselves or others.
Limiting high-capacity magazines
Closing the “gun show loophole.”
Funding for gun violence research
Recognizing that preventing school shootings is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted approach is essential. It will take the efforts of individuals, schools, communities, and our government to create meaningful change and ensure the safety of our schools and students.
Wishing for the courage to take needed action, and with love,