Free Essay Example: Mass Shootings in the United States

Published: 2023-03-17
Free Essay Example: Mass Shootings in the United States
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  United States Gun control Gun violence Social issue
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1833 words
16 min read

Mass shootings in the US in 2019 outpace the number of days. Before the year ends, mass shootings cases are more than any other year (National Council for behavioral health, 2019). By 1st December this year, the country had recorded 385 cases (National Council for behavioral health, 2019). Out of these cases, nine of them are mass murders. A mass shooting is regarded as any gun violence that shoots more than four people. Based on these statistics, the government must be concerned with the issues and take necessary strategies to improve the safety of the people. The research paper investigates the causes of mass shootings in the US, their effects, and recommendations on how to manage the issue in American society.

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Research Background

A Mass shooting is also referred to as gun violence, and it refers to shooting of more than four individuals. The United States leads in gun violence internationally. Statistics indicate that the majority of gun violence criminals are male, and they commit the crimes individually or as a group for various reasons. The criminals end up killing themselves or get killed by law enforcement agencies, and this raises a question as to why they commit the crimes (Duwe, 2017). The criminals rarely surrender to the authorities, and instead, they provoke them in a way, illustrating that they want to commit suicide. The number of victims injured during the incidents has been increasing annually. Although gun violence constitutes less than 1% of homicides, the incidences receive greater emphasis and criticism from the public than any other form of violence.

Mass gun violence in the US takes place in various institutions and anywhere. For example, it takes place in schools, universities, domestic life, public places, and buildings, as well as workplaces. Motivations of mass shootings can be categorized into various divisions. Examples of motivations include extremism, such as terrorism, workplace issues and mental issues (Sanders & Lei, 2018). Understanding these issues is critical since it helps relevant authorities and security agencies to devise policies and strategies to manage the incidences. Since many people in the US own guns, the problem is likely to persist in communities although the government has put in place strategies to reduce misuse of guns.

Although cases of gun violence in the US have reduced, by December 2019 there were more cases than any other year and this illustrates that this year will mark the highest number of incidences (National Council for behavioral health, 2019). There are other forms of violence in the US, but many stakeholders emphasize on gun violence. Firearm suicide is the easiest way of engaging in mass killing (Heing, 2017). The United States has the highest number of gun holders than any economy in the world. Some gun holders have turned out to be criminals using their weapons to commit crimes against other citizens. The cases are not common in the country, but they receive enormous media attention, making it look like the leading homicide incidences. For example, school shootings are rare, but they occasionally happen. In this regard, most people in homes and streets are vulnerable compared to school environment. Other dangerous places include restaurants and social places. Therefore, policy-makers should consider vulnerable places and take appropriate measures to avoid these cases.

Despite the efforts of security agencies and the government, cases of mass shootings continue to exist in society. It means that the agencies must redesign their strategies to contain the issues in society (Duwe, 2017). However, they must first understand the potential causes, vulnerable places and recommend appropriate measures to manage the social problem. In this regard, the research paper aims to identify the causes of gun violence, trends of mass violence and solutions to the social issue.

Research Aim

The purpose of the research paper is to investigate the causes of mass shootings in the US and develop recommendations on how to overcome the challenge. Everyone in the US is aware of gun violence since it receives significant coverage by the media than any other form of violence. Despite being aware of the atrocities of the criminal activity, individuals and security agencies report more cases (Duwe, 2017). Therefore, the investigation is important because it recommends potential solutions to the problem to uphold the security of the people.

Research Questions

Research questions that guide the investigation process include;

  • What are the causes of mass shootings in the US?
  • What are the effects of mass shootings?
  • What are the strategies that can solve the problem of mass shootings?
  • Causes of Mass Shooting In the US

Various factors contribute to mass shootings in the United States. The first one is mental illness among criminals. Most gun violence victims prove to be senseless. They suffer from various conditions, such as depression and stress, affecting their rationality. Because of the trauma the victims undergo, citizens demand answers from security agencies regarding the causes of incidences (Duwe, 2017). The general public believes that mentally ill individuals in society pose dangers to the public, as long as they access guns. In many cases, politicians are quick to condemn the incidences, blaming it on mental illness. Most psychologists believe that a mentally sound person could not do some acts of killing people senselessly. Therefore, they believe that mental illness is the primary cause of the problems.

About 60% of mass violence shooters have some mental conditions that influence their rational thinking. Mental health problems most of criminals suffer from include psychosis, depression and substance abuse (National Council for behavioral health, 2019). Due to their mental illness, the victims feel isolated and marginalized. In the process, they create a feeling of unworthy and low-self-esteem eventually leading to depression. Mental illness is not the primary cause of mental illness, but it has a significant role in causing gun violence crimes. Therefore, authorities and psychologists should evaluate more other factors by diagnosing individuals arrested for engaging in mass shootings. The process would improve the government's efforts towards preventing further gun killings and injuries.

The second cause of mass killings in the United States is easy to access to guns. The process of acquiring a gun in the country is easy compared to other economies. The underlying problem is that the security department has not developed any profile to predict an individual likely to engage in gun violence or suffer from mental illness. Although guns are meant for self-protection, criminals can use them against other people in society. Notably, there is an ongoing debate about disarming individuals believed to be dangerous to them and others in society (Santilli et al., 2017). However, there are no clear policies and regulations to identify symptoms of mental illness among gun holders to disarm them. Individuals can be mentally ill, but they will not cause significant damage without accessing dangerous weapons. Therefore, a combination of mental illness, and the accessibility of guns contribute to gun violence.

Additionally, extremism is another cause of mass shootings in many countries, like the United States. Some criminals publicly admitted adhering to radical Islamism. The country's approach to neutralizing terrorism is a motivational factor for terrorists to engage in mass killings. There is a war of ideologies between the United States and organized criminal gangs (Santilli et al., 2017). In this way, they engage in criminal activities to offend the government as a way of reiterating. Radicalized individuals can do any damage even to their home country. Terrorist groups, such as ISIS pose security threats to the United States and other countries. They have nothing to lose according to their radical ideologies.

Besides, the US tactics to neutralizing the criminals always get them off guard. They also develop new tactics they use to perpetuate their criminal activities. One of these techniques is mass shootings in the least expected areas. One of the latest cases of terrorist attacks in the US is the Florida shooting that involved a Saud air force student. The incident appeared to be a terrorist attack and according to the FBI, the student was radicalized before carrying out the attack (Luca, Malhorta & Poliquin, 2016). In this regard, it is evident that extremism is another cause of mass shootings in the US. The security agencies should develop strategies to ensure no radicalization of its citizens since they will turn their guns against the American citizens.

The other cause of gun violence is violent video games. There is a relationship between gun ownership and violent video games. Video games have positive impacts on students, but they also have negative effects on the players. The negative side is that violent video games train players to be arrogant and they develop a feeling that the world is not a comfortable place to live; hence, they must learn to survive (Luca et al., 2016). In the process, they become violent and arrogant. Consequently, they carry guns for self-protection. However, they misuse the guns by engaging in physical fights, get angry in the process and use them randomly. In some cases, drug addicts become senseless and they misuse their guns by engaging in mass shootings. In this regard, video games have some relationship with active mass shooters. Therefore, video players require special guidance so that they do not practice the violent behaviors they learn.

Gun laws in the United States have contributed to mass killing to some extent. States with more permissive gun laws experience high rates of gun violence compared to states with more restrictions. It is evident that gun laws in the US are permissive and they allow many people to own guns, explaining an increase in mass shootings due to the availability of guns (Santilli et al., 2017). Restricting gun laws could contribute to a significant reduction in gun violence since guns are weapons of mass destruction. Besides thinking about guns and people, it is vital for relevant agencies to consider thinking more about environmental factors that promote the misuse of guns. For example, there should guidance and counseling centers to help in reinstating the mental health of people, as well as promoting health and safety. Therefore, permissive laws are supporting gun-related deaths in the country.

Furthermore, domestic violence is one of the ignored factors causing mass shootings. As identified previously, gun violence happens in various places, including schools, domestic settings, and social places. The primary reason why gun violence happens in homes is domestic violence. Many people think that mass shootings are random acts, but in some cases it can be planned due to disagreements among individuals (Luca et al., 2016). However, domestic gun violence targets specific individuals domestically, including spouses and their siblings. Domestic mass rampage can also target former intimate partners. Due to communication failure at homes, mostly male victims opt to use guns to solve their problems. Fundamentally, the state and non-state agencies should also focus on counseling spouses, facing troubles to protect them against gun violence domestically.

Effects of Mass Shooting In the United States

Mass shooting incidences have effects on victims and witnesses. Some of these impacts can be long-lasting. The first effect is trauma which is the emotional shock individuals develop after witnessing or surviving the incident. People respond differently to different incidences.

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