Chi-Talk – Why Have Mass Shootings Become So Common?
The recent shooting in Texas marked the 307th mass shooting in the country so far this year. This week on our online-street interview series “Chi-Talk” we discussed why mass shootings have become so common and what we can do to change our mindset to reduce future tragedies. While some claim adding more gun control and regulations will reduce these tragedies, many think we need to understand the problem in order to move forward.
Chicago News: The recent shooting at a church in Texas marked the 307th mass shooting in America this year. Why do you think mass shootings have become so common? Is there something behind all of this that’s causing these tragedies?
Elliot: Sure, because I’m not from America so it was weird for me to see people have guns all the time. But I feel like most people aren’t crazy that commit these mass shootings. They’re just people who’ve lost a real connection to society and in my opinion it’s weird, because some Americans say that having a gun is a part of freedom. But that’s really determined by how we define freedom and that could be very deep when it comes to these gun issues.
Keturah: It’s funny because I’ve thought about that too, but I really don’t know the answer to that. I feel like that because a lot of violence has been allowed and no real consequence has been put on to these actions, I feel they’re just random incidents or maybe they’re not. People are just testing society and their reactions to that type of violence, but also because there hasn’t been a big punishment or something really said about it. (People have become desensitized) Oh, it’s just another tragedy, something new happened. It’s always sad and you want to send your condolences to the families for their loses, but it’s just become so normal. I don’t think that’s good that something like that has just become so normal.
David: First and foremost address the tragedy. What is the tragedy is that people can get the kind of firearms that enable them to do this. And when President Trump says this is a mental health issue not a firearms issue, well, he’s half right – only a lunatic would do such a thing, obviously. Nevertheless, the means to do it is a Second Amendment and Constitutional Law as well as obviously a local-law issue. I’m adamantly opposed to people having access to those kinds of weapons and firearms that would enable them to do such dreadful things. But there’s a whole other issue here, and that’s why is this happening? And it’s an issue that’s happening in first-world countries like it has never happened before. And it appears to be more and more concentrated, but I don’t know if that’s really the case. I think it’s really important to look at it from a statistical point of view. From an emotional point of view, it looks like it’s happening more and more all of the time.
CN: Can you offer any thoughts or ideas on what we could do to change our mindset or whether you have any opinions on gun regulations and laws?
Elliot: For me I don’t really have a solution on my mind, but I will say this: ban the guns. I don’t want to feel insecure all the time as I typically do in America.
Keturah: We have to face the mindsets that people are in. People these days just really don’t care because it happens so much and it’s sad! It really is sad.
David: I don’t think that there’s really any simple solution to it. But what I do think is that there are, and here I have to agree with Donald Trump, as much as I find I don’t agree with him about anything, is that there’s real mental-health issues in this country. Now I happen to be a psychologist, so therefore I have special interest in mental-health issues and I deal with a lot of people who are people that should not have ever had guns nor should ever have guns. When I think of these people and their ability to access guns it makes me feel that there should be very specific legislation that prohibits certain kinds of people from having firearms. These people under current laws would be able to obtain them.