A report published by the FBI last year, studying active shooting situations between 2000 and 2013, found that these kinds of incidents were happening more and more recently. The first seven years of the study found an average of 6.4 active shootings per year, while the last seven years of the study found that number jumped up to 16.4 incidents per year.”
“America has had 142 school shootings since 2013”
“From 1999 to 2013, there were 317 mass killing events in the United States, killing 1,554 people and wounding 441.”
It is hard to say without cringing, but mass shootings are unfortunately becoming less surprising to the American people. The beginning of the epidemic can be pinpointed back to the Columbine massacre, but there have been so many shootings between now and then that we’ve begun to be numb about these types of occurrences.
I can’t sit down in class without thinking about it. I can’t sit with my friends and watch a movie without thinking about it. I can’t go the mall, either. These shootings can happen anywhere at anytime. It happened at an elementary school with children all under the age of 13.
The most recent mass shooting was at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, where a gunman killed nine people and wounded nine more. He went into classrooms and asked students if they were Christian. Declaring your faith to a coward toting a gun; what kind of way to leave Earth is that?
The shooting scare hit close to home when a post on 4chan, an anonymous message board, read that a Philadelphia-area university would be targeted next. A post one week prior to the Oregon shooting suggested that students in the Northwest should stray away from class. Although the Oregon shooting occurred, the Philadelphia threat never followed through. It has me thinking that there is a group of people out there who think it’s fun to pump fear through people.
Even our president is numb to the mass shooting epidemic. We shouldn’t be so accustomed to these shootings, but they happen everywhere we go–schools, neighborhoods, movie theaters. Americans don’t feel safe, and the passing of a law wouldn’t make me feel any better. Mental health has always been the next topic of conversation after mass shootings occur, but mental health facilities have been pretty sparse in America.
I don’t know what will stop the mass shooting plague, but gun control and more money to mental health care could help jump start it. I know if something doesn’t happen soon to prevent these occurrences a lot of Americans who feel the same will be weary going to the movies, going to class and going on with our daily lives.
Sunny Morgan is a first-year premajor student. She can be reached at SM848270@wcupa.edu. You can follow her on Twitter @sunnymorgg.