USA: Are mass public shootings becoming deadlier?

For experts, it is not enough to apply a stronger regulation on weapons

USA: Are mass public shootings becoming deadlier?

Leer en Español: Estados Unidos: los tiroteos públicos masivos son cada vez más mortales

November 5th’s shooting was recorded as the deadliest massacre in the history of the state of Texas; the event occurred a little over a month after another mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada where Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured more than 500 after opening fire during a music festival. In just two years, three of the deadliest attacks have been held, pressing on the question on what to do about gun control and the Second Amendment.

According to experts, the number of guns within the United States ranges from 270 million to 310 million; the right to bear arms is constitutionally protected under the Second Amendment. But each state has its own laws, for example, in Connecticut after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a law was passed that prohibited semiautomatic weapons. But in others, for example, the use of armaments in public places has been allowed.

Experts over at Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, argue that states where guidelines on weapons are stricter, including its use and portability, tend to develop less violence due to this type of artifacts.

Jay Corzine of the University of Central Florida clarifies that due to the coverage given by the media, there is more information about the massacres, which gives the perpetrators opportunity to do a preliminary study of what can happen after and in the same way prepare the attack in the most accurate and deadly manner.

A study published in PLOS ONE also found that attacks do not have a direct connection, but do correlate in the number of deaths and the manner in which they were carried out. Grant Duwe from the Minnesota Department of Corrections and expert on firearms attack, clarifies that the attacks seem to be a competition where they want to leave as many victims as possible, which also generates a role of importance within the media.

The debate now is not only on what the media says or the correlation of competition that exists in acts of vandalism. Gun control is once again the epicenter of the debate. For Professor Adam Winkler of the University of California in Los Angeles, there is confusion over the second amendment. "Although it gives the possibility of carrying arms for the safety of the individual, the same amendment also gives an option for gun control. Most Americans think that it is an either-or option, but they do not realize that, if studied more thoroughly, there is a possibility for both”, the expert clarified.

Winkler also affirms that not necessarily greater control is going to stop the barbarism. While it is a factor that must be taken into account, we must also bear in mind that anyone who wishes to do wrong and has access to a weapon, can do so. "Regulation is not the only way out, the problem has different variables, so the solution must incur in different approaches, from the control of weapons, to the psychological analysis that should be practiced obtaining the permit to carry weapons, have to be present as a big solution", Winkler explained.

Democrats and Republicans confront each other, once again, due to gun control. The Democrats advocate a stricter regulation on the matter, as they have done so repeatedly over the last 20 years. The Republicans, on their part, do not see that as the solution and, on the contrary, feel as if more regulation goes against their constitutional rights.

Former President Barack Obama, in his message to the victims of the massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas, also advocated for the right steps towards guns control, while the current president Donald Trump only stated that he was monitoring the situation from his tour in Asia. While Republicans applauded the actions of the individuals who persecuted the perpetrator at the massacre, Democrats asked for more than prayers for the situation and its victims.


Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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