Column: Return to normal comes with shootings

Destiny Blanchard

America is slowly getting back to normal. Back to normal for us Americans means going out, spending time with friends, and overall enjoying things that we didn’t get to because of the pandemic. Despite all those good things, there are negative aspects of going back to normal. And in the past few weeks, we’ve seen that it means more mass shootings.

A mass shooting is defined as any singular incident that results in multiple victims of gun violence. Most mass shootings usually mean four or more victims but sometimes it can mean less.

The United States is unfortunately known for mass shootings due to the fact that we have had consistent incidents of mass shootings for several years. There have been a lot of conversations surrounding gun control in our country and if that is the solution to mass shootings. The common misconception is that during the pandemic there had been fewer mass shootings because most people stayed in but that’s not the reality. In fact, in the year 2020 mass shootings jumped nearly 50% when compared to 2019. In 2020 the United States had 611 mass shooting events while in 2019 there was 417. Likely because of COVID-19 there was less coverage of these mass shootings so there was an interpretation that they were happening less. Either way, as we start to get back to a somewhat normal society we are seeing more coverage of mass shootings as they happen.

Since the start of 2021, we’ve had 133 mass shootings (as of April 9th) that have resulted in the deaths of over 170 people. One of the more talked-about shootings is the Atlanta spas shooting on March 16th when eight people, including six Asian women, were killed by a gunman who intended to attack Asian women. In the two weeks following the Atlanta shooting 20 other shootings took place.

It’s easy to feel helpless and feel like there’s nothing that can be done to control the number of incidents we’ve had but there are things that are being done. There are several organizations and activists who fight for more gun control, universal background checks, bans on assault weapons and research into gun violence. More people are starting to agree about the benefit of gun control as we continue to see how many lives gun violence, specifically mass shootings, has taken from us.

 

Destiny Blanchard is a junior management major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]