On 18th May 2018, a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High School, Texas. The massacre led to the death of 10 people and another 13 were injured. A 17-year old suspect, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, was taken into custody and charged with capital murder and assault on a police officer. The mass shooting took the life of Sabeeka Shiekh, a Pakistani student who had gone to the US under the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) programme.
Mass shootings have sparked a debate over gun control in the United States. This tragic incident happened months after students from the school shooting in Parkland, Florida took streets to address this serious issue.
Here are 5 talking points we can take from the mass-shootings in the US.
More guns won’t solve the problem
The mass shootings like Texas, firearm-related incidents, and police brutality serves as a daily reminder that guns do more harm than good. Sadly, it is very difficult to make a distinction between a good and bad person. Still, the current system allows every individual to acquire a firearm. Therefore, the lack of stringency coupled with pressure from the pro-gun lobbies takes away innocent lives.
There is a dire need for tougher gun control regulations
According to a research, the states with tougher gun control laws had fewer gun-related violence. The states like Alaska and Louisiana have softer gun laws as compared to New York, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. It is compelling to note that the rate of deaths by firearms is four times higher in Alaska and Louisiana as opposed to the rest.
Mental Health should be part of a conversation
The Narratives about gun violence and mental illness are centered on protecting the people from the mentally ill, not the other way around.
Nearly a fifth of Americans today experience mental illness and the mechanism of their integration within the society is weak. Addressing the mental health issues and raising awareness can help to reduce the incidents of mass shootings.
Background checks are important
In developed countries like Canada and Australia, there are strict background checks on people obtaining firearms. The citizens are required to train for gun handling, provide a reference of membership of a shooting range, and must prove that they do not belong to any prohibitive group such as the mentally ill and criminals.
Had there been the adoption of background checks by the US earlier, most active shooters would have denied the purchase of firearms.
The Second Amendment might appear as a sacred right to some of the Americans but it has led to the loss of innocent lives. A tougher gun control policy is the need of the hour. If the situation stays the same, the frequency of these mass shootings will increase drastically and they will have no one to blame.