What is even
more alarming is that these figures do not take into account the estimated
22,000 gun suicides in the US every year, which constitute the majority of
strong association between America and mass shootings, these tragedies only
account for a tiny minority of gun-related deaths in America every year. In the year 2016, only 456 (or 1.2%) of gun
deaths were caused by mass shootings (Kristof, 2017). According to Gun Violence Archive (2018),
there were over 60,000 incidences of gun violence in the year 2017. As a result of these incidences, there were
31,137 injuries and, more importantly, 15,593 deaths. These figures are following
the same trend as mass shootings, and are steadily on the rise. In every year since the Gun Violence Archive
started collating gun violence data, the figures have been on the rise, with an
18% increase in gun violence incidences between 2014 and 2017. Furthermore, there has been a number of
deaths per year has increase by just under 3000.
America’s mass shootings are getting deadlier and more frequent. In the 1980s, America experienced 8 mass
shootings, which resulted in 79 casualties (Strasser, 2017). In 2017 alone, there were 10 (Willingham and
Ahmed, 2017), and the number of deaths as a result of this was more than 4
times higher (Gun Violence Archive, 2018).
Willingham and Ahmed (2017) found that 18 of the 30 worst mass shootings
since 1949 have occurred in the past decade.
significant part of America’s problem with gun violence is the mass shootings
it experiences. Definitions can vary
greatly, but even by the narrowest definition, the US is an outlier. Between 1966 and 2012, America had 90 mass
shootings, more than any other country.
In fact, America had 5 times more than the country with the
second-highest number of mass shootings (Fox, 2017). What makes America’s mass shooting problem
even more unique is the locations where they take place: people are most likely
to be killed in a mass shooting if they are at school or at work, whereas other
countries normally experience these events in close proximity to military installations
(Christensen, 2017). Mass shooters in
America are also more likely to have multiple firearms.
In order to
determine the need for gun control in America, the country’s relationship with
guns and gun violence should first be understood. This aim will examine America’s rate of gun
violence, evaluating the effect of cultural influences and high ownership
numbers on this rate, and comparing international examples, in order to evaluate/determine
the extent to which gun violence is an American problem.