With the recent Oregon shooting there has been a revival of people wanting stronger gun laws. Even the shooter’s father stated that this would have never happened had his son not been able to obtain guns.
Think for a moment about how many people already own guns in the US. Studies reveal that Americans own enough guns to provide one to each of its citizens. Making it harder to obtain a gun won’t make any difference. Not when so many people already own them.
Now perhaps you are pushing for a gun ban altogether. But read this article from crimeresearch.org showing crime rates before and after gun bans in other countries.
The problem doesn’t rest in the guns. There are countless responsible gun owners, myself included. People purchase guns for a variety of reasons: hunting and protection being the most prevelent.
So if guns aren’t the issue, what is?
I think that most of the issues stem from bullying and mental illness. In the examples of the Aurora, Colorado, and Oregon shooting, both gunman shared mental disorders. James Holmes, the Aurora gunman, suffers from a severe mental disorder which lead him to snap. His father was actually institutionalized at one point for a similar mental disorder. As for the Oregon shooter, Chris Harper-Mercer, he and his mother suffer from Asberger’s.
Now mental illness isn’t always the cause. It can contribute, but it alone isn’t to blame. Bullying also can lead young men and women to lash out in instances like Colombine.
My point is that there are multiple factors that go into any act of violence. Guns alone don’t cause peopel to become violent. Besides, gun violence rates have seen a dramatic decrease since 1994.
If we want to see the rate of these attacks lower even further, social and medical reform is needed to get it started.
If you want more statistics on gun violence trends in America, check out this article from npr posted in 2013.
And this one from forbes.