A Culture Of Violence
the shooting spree of the spas in Georgia and the shooting in Boulder, Colorado, there were seven (7) other mass shootings in the U.S. Yet, those shootings were not the kind the international media outlets love to cover wire to wire.
Those shootings, which resulted in six (6) dead, and thirty one (31) injured, were relegated to the local news outlets. They were not the random kind with a racist, sexist, or deranged agenda, or the actions of a person who is mysterious, a lone wolf, or gunmen doing something like in Newtown, CT.
But gun violence didn’t just start back up with these recent high profile shootings. Gun violence was still happening in America. Before the killings in Georgia at the spas which most contend were racial motivated, here is a sampling of shootings that occurred:
February 3, 2021 — Fort Carson, Colorado (Colorado Springs) — Three people shot and killed at an apartment complex.
February 5, 2021 — Mohnton, Pennsylvania — Four people shot, one killed, at a hookah lounge
February 5, 2021 — Bolivar, Mississippi — Three people killed at a club
March 6, 2021 — Yuba City, California — Two people shot and killed at a gathering.
Gil Scott Heron’s amazing song, Gun from 1981 summed up the problem for me a long time ago:
We should have known 2021 was going to be more of the same. On New Year’s Day, two (2) people were killed and eighteen (18) injured in four separate mass shootings across the country. Covid-19 was raging but bullets were flying.
As of this writing, there have been 107 mass shootings in the U.S., in 83 days. During that time, 122 people have been killed and 378 injured. On just twenty three (23) days has there not been a shooting.
Shootings in America — the mass shootings — are as routine as buying coffee at a 7–11 in the U.S. or getting an oil change.
There are those who will say many of these shootings are the normal disputes that result in a shooting but what is normal about a shooting? Sure, many are relationship related. A domestic argument, a dispute on the street, cross words at a club and some have had too much to drink, but yet, people are being shot. You can’t normalize this behavior.
Then toss in the random killings that are internal arguments which are the most American of killings. The shooter is having a battle within themselves for something no one has been able to deliver to them. Maybe, it is self esteem, or racial hatred, a depraved view of women, all of these reasons have driven men — mostly white men — to kill other people who have nothing to do with their personal demons (lets get them some help, can we?).
And, of course, guns are everywhere in the U.S. though a minority of the population owns the weapons. The U.S. has approximately 393 million guns in circulation. That is enough guns for each citizen to possess 1.2 guns.
But other countries have guns don’t have our mass shooting issues or our level of gun violence. There’s the dilemma. Can that many guns circulate in this society safely?
in the U.S., according to the Brady Center, 316 people are shot and 106 are shot and killed per day in the U.S.. This means these mass shootings only make up a tiny number of the shootings in the U.S.
In addition, approximately two-thirds of shootings in the U.S. are suicides. No one is usually killed other than the shooter, which is bad, but this suggests that the violence, as covered, is covered in a misleading manner by everyone.
Why then does our news media cover them like they do? Why do our politicians, right after a mass shooting like Boulder, find the nearest microphone with cameras and state their position boldly again while the gun barrels are still hot, trying to get the voters to follow them?
The U.S. homicide shooting rate is not even the highest in the world. Brazil owns that crown. There are according to various sources very high numbers of defensive uses of firearms in the U.S. (Black Guns Matter, a gun rights advocacy organization says it is 1 million a year) and Americans support gun rights.
where is the sweet spot?
Guns are going nowhere. Gun rights are solid in the U.S. Is there a need for any control? Should military style assault rifles be banned or placed under stricter control? How would that look? Who is going to fall on their political sword over that one?
Can the U.S. prevent what happened in Boulder? I can answer that — No, unless both sides of the debate cede some ground and stop trying to score political points and find a common solution.
Americans, I assure you, love the freedom of owning guns and being able to put their hands on a weapon if necessary. Years ago when Washington D.C. was being terrorized by a guy known as “Crazy Shotgun Guy,” almost everyone I know suddenly traveled the streets with a gun.
No one showed these guns before but within no time, they were armed. Do I have any good answers? Nope. Just some music for now.