Mass shootings have become such a common occurrence in our society today and continue to leave an endless stream of pain and devastation. A mass shooting is identified as an incident where four or more individuals are shot within one location. This number does not include the shooter if they chose to take their own life in the process. In 2023 alone, we have had 131 mass shootings so far, with 193 deaths and 493 injuries. It is only April when this article is being released.
The impact that mass shootings have caused is truly horrific. The physical and emotional harm caused to these victims and their families is irreparable. 193 people are not going home to their families, and within the past two weeks, 22 people have died in mass shootings, some not yet even ten years old. If you are lucky enough to survive a mass shooting, you are greeted with many physical injuries like gunshot wounds that often require rehabilitation, emotional scars that last forever, and psychological devastation that leaves survivors with issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.
Not only does it have an impact on the direct victims, but it has a lasting impact on the society surrounding them. Communities experience extreme fear and anxiety in the aftermath of a shooting that essentially stunts all productivity and leaves the community empty and petrified. This constant threat has debilitated communities and has forced them into unfair situations where teachers have bulletproofed areas, schools and workplaces have lockdown drills monthly, metal detectors everywhere, and paranoia for everyone. Hell, I cannot even walk into a grocery store without my subconscious assuring me there are many always exits near me.
Mass shootings also serve as a reminder of the ongoing issues of gun violence in our society. Despite the repeated tragedy, the loss of innocent lives caused by these mass shootings, and gun violence in general, there has been minimal progress made in mending or even addressing the root causes of these problems. Instead, we have people like Governor DeWine of Ohio loosening gun laws and gun control measures that were put into place to protect us. Sure, there have been proposed gun control measures like background checks and limiting sales. However, what progress is actually being made?
As a future teacher, I urge everyone to push for not only gun control measures but a diversified approach that includes improving mental health care services, training to identify a potential shooter before the incident occurs, or even addressing many underlying causes of gun violence, such as poverty and inequality.
This is our future; it is time we do something to protect it.
Disclaimer: This article in no way reflects the views of The Cauldron and its staff. It only reflects the views of the columnist.