Check out my final mini-podcast for my Advanced News writing and Reporting class, where I discuss gun ownership and the data of mass shootings in 2018 America.
Today is November 18th 2018 and today is the 319th day of the year. And with only 46 days remaining in the year, many people have turned their attention towards Thanksgiving meal planning and Christmas wish lists, but not as many are fortunate enough. Today may be the 319th day of the year but in 2018 alone there have been 315 shootings across America.
While the word “shooting” in our media driven world denotes the feelings of a mass shooting, not all gun discharges can be categorized as a mass shooting.
Except in this case.
According to the Gun Violence Archive there have been a total of 50,324 gun violence incidents this year, with 12,879 deaths.
But the 315 shootings are categorized as a “mass shooting” because there were 4 or more victims injured or killed excluding the suspect or perpetrator within one location.
Last year, 2017, there were 346 mass shootings, and the highest rates of mass shootings came from 2016 with a total annual report of 382.
While Mass Shootings have not reached an all-time high since 2016 many families, students, and individuals are still extremely worried about the consistency that mass shootings have taken place.
Just recently on November 7th in Thousand Oaks, California, just North of LA, 13 individuals were murdered with 2 injured. What’s increasingly nerve-racking about this particular shooting is that many of the victims from the Las Vegas Shooting from October 1 in 2017 were at the Thousand Oaks shooting. The Las Vegas shooting murdered 59 individuals and injured 441 others.
Gun Ownership and Gun Safety have become a major predicament within the United States, where the country can be seen as split between believing in their right to bear arms and the belief that guns should not permitted within any public or private area outside military.
Mary Cole, a senior at the University of Denver believes that guns should not be allowed anywhere, not on campuses, not in homes, and especially not concealed carry.
Mass shootings have been on the rise since the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut on a December day of 2012 where a gunman walked into a classroom, killing 20 children, six adults and himself. Since then, more than 1,900 mass shootings have occurred.
Many individuals who are fearful of gun owners believe that there should be stricter rules and background checks for those that are trying to obtain ownership. And their not alone. Drew Hopkinson, a senior at the University of Denver studying mechanical engineering is a member of the National Rifle Association, and believes the same things.
Drew Hopkinson, a senior at the University of Denver and a member of the National Rifle Association has the same safety concerns as many who do not believe in the right to carry guns. Believing that there should be stricter background and mental health checks for those looking to own, but does believe those who have never handled guns do not understand how much safety there is around the education.
But currently these quote on quote strict background checks that are currently taking place are not doing enough. Where according to an article by Vox News in conjunction with data from gunpolicy.org, and the United Nations Development Programme, a “vast majority of guns used in 19 recent mass shootings were bought legally and with a federal background check. At least nine gunmen had criminal histories or documented mental health problems that did not prevent them from obtaining their weapons”. This particular articles data was updated today, November 18th at 3:31pm.
A lot of misconceptions have penetrated the gun safety and ownership debate but it can be rationalized that both sides believe gun safety is a priority, even if ownership continues to be debated.