These School Shootings Are Awful, But The Scope Of America’s Gun Problem Is Completely Horrifying

by
Owen Poindexter
Three school shootings may seem like quite a lot for a little under a week, but really, the shootings we hear about are a fraction of the ones that happen.

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Guns are widely available in many states, and background checks can generally be avoided. PHOTO: Infrogmation, CC License

Tuesday, one person was killed at a shooting in Purdue University in Indiana. The shooter walked into a classroom, shot the victim and walked out, targeting no one else.

On Jan. 17th, two students were wounded by gunfire at a Philadelphia school.

The day before, a 12 year-old fired a shotgun at his middle school in New Mexico, injuring two students.

In addition to the school shootings, there was also the tragic and bizarre case of the man shot dead in a Florida movie theater for making noise and texting during the previews.

On January 16th, three people were killed in an Indiana supermarket, when a gunman opened fire.

That may seem like quite a lot for a little under a week, but really, the shootings we hear about are a fraction of the ones that happen.

According to data compiled by Slate, there were 11,422 gun-related deaths in 2013. That’s over 31 a day. This data includes anything gun-related including accidents. At a minimum, 1,108 of these were homicides, which is just over 3 a day.

What do we do about that? The big problems here don’t have any easy solutions (and no, taking all the guns away is not an easy solution), but there are some low hanging fruit. Universal background checks and a ban on high capacity magazines for starters. Measures that address poverty and gang violence would also eat away at gun violence in the U.S. From there, it would be worthwhile studying other developed countries with much lower gun-death rates than us.

Gun violence is not the U.S.’s only problem or even its biggest problem, but it is obviously a problem. Just acknowledging that would be a good first step, and more than some have been willing to do.

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