Usually when a parent attempts to make their child aware of their “selective hearing,” it is not a pleasant conversation. The same can be said for the selective approach society has taken to recognize a majority of gun violence across America.
Everyday gun violence, an extremely prevalent issue, is not being effectively publicized or managed.
The tragic massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas has catalyzed the creation of throngs of activists intent on securing gun law reform that will impact the safety of not only school children, but every person in the United States.
While this movement is incredibly beneficial to society and may seem new, it is one that has come after many years of others crying out for the same reform. Some in the most violent places around the country and being blatantly ignored for years.
We see that because many Americans do not live in the most impoverished, racially segregated neighborhoods of the country, a nonchalant air is taken when presented with the plights of activists from these locations.
However, this is unacceptable as mass shootings make up a very modest amount of gun-related deaths- about two percent– while the rest are a mix of suicides, homicides, and unintentional deaths, particularly in these indigent areas.
Therefore, only focusing the gun violence debate on mass shootings and their link to assault weapons and mental illness is not entirely conducive for the overall gun violence issue. Handguns alone can be blamed for 70% of firearm deaths, averaging 6,000 deaths per year, and most gun deaths are not a result of mental illness, according to The Guardian.
While attention should not be taken away from mass shootings, or school shootings, in particular, it is imperative that other types of gun violence, especially ones that have been raging in cities such as Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis and Detroit, are given the attention they deserve.
Now is the time to analyze these gun issues and understand that this is a multifaceted problem with many different types of negative outcomes that all need to be taken into consideration when evaluating possible solutions.
Implementations that aid in decreasing mass shootings and everyday gun violence include background checks since offenders in both situations could have a past criminal history. It is important to find solutions like these that will help minimize both issues.
When acting with the principle of utilitarianism in mind- saving the greatest amount of lives is of the utmost importance- it is clear that in order to do so, the gun violence debate needs to be blown wide open.
Photo courtesy of Lariat design team