• December 14, 2012 - Newtown, Connecticut - 26 lives are taken at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Assailant takes their own life, totaling a total of 28 fatalities.
• September 27, 2012 - Minneapolis, Minnesota - 7 lives are taken at Accent Signage Systems. Assailant takes their own life, totaling 8 fatalities.
• August 5, 2012 - Oak Creek, Wisconsin - 9 lives are taken in a Sikh temple. Assailant take their own life, totaling 10 fatalities.
• July 20, 2012 - Aurora, Colorado - 12 lives are taken, 58 are injured in a movie theater. Assailant was later arrested.
• May 20, 2012 - Seattle, Washington - 4 lives were taken at a cafe and 1 later during a carjacking. The assailant later takes their life, totaling 6 fatalities.
• April 2, 2012 - Oakland, California - 7 lives were taken in a Oikos University nursing classroom. The assailant was arrested.
• February 22, 2012 - Atlanta, Georgia - 5 lives were taken in Su Jung Health Sauna, a Korean spa. Amongst the 5 fatalities lies the assailant.
…And this list could go on through the past 30 years
Many will argue that there are cultural wars taking place within the U.S.; a war on Black America (specifically Black Male Youths), Immigration/Immigrants, a war on the LGBTQQIPAA community, & etc. But I think there is a more overall war on human kind. Each day, as we watch our daily dose of our local news, we become aware of another life that had been taken over night. And just looking at the statistics for 2012, there has been an average of at least one mass killing per every month and a half. Within this data, we have lost a total of 77 lives to mass killings.
If Whites are killings Whites, Black are killing Blacks, Whites are killing Blacks, Blacks are killing Whites, Hispanics are killing Southeast Asians. Southeast Asians are killing Indians, & etc, who is to say that one is targeted more than the other? When we have mass killings, not every time is their a particular targeted group. Of course with the Sikh temple shooting, that was specific. However, the most recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary was not. Matter of fact, the victims were unarmed children.
So I guess the question is, who are we at war with?
Looking at the past 7 mass killings, none of them are similar in who was targeted. Not knowing the specifics in demographics, it’s hard to say what population was most represented but we can assume, but I am sure that it is safe to say that the human population was the most represented. Regardless of race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age, etc. each victim was a human being. They were, in some capacity, a contribution to the advancement and mobility of society. From the innocent laughter of little children to the passionate fire to promote change as a police officer, each human being had a vital part to play in our progression.
So, I ask, how do we combat this epidemic?
Again, many would argue that we need better gun laws. Others would say that we need to do away with gun possession all together. And another group would argue that we need to provide better services to our citizens with mental illnesses. I think that it is all of the above. I would love a society, a world, where we did not have crime or violence but this would be impossible for we are a combative and protective world.
Everyone wants to fight for what they believe is right, which they are right, in their own right (this is a subject that I will avoid discussing for this particular posting. I may revisit at a later date). Mental illness, however, is something that is either not taken seriously or is not diagnosed soon enough to provide assistance to these individuals who are committing these crimes.
If we create a stricter gun policy, would this really eliminate our challenges with crimes, more so, with deaths? Currently, for one to possess a handgun, they must have a clean criminal record, proper id, go through a background check, and etc. however, illegal possession hasn’t declined. So I think stricter gun policies would not change much. If we took all of the guns and melted them into scrap metal, that would just force individuals to be creative and find other ways to take lives. So again, I doubt that would change anything.
Either way, I believe that we need to begin with the source — the assailants. Not knowing the ins and outs of mental health diagnosis, I am sure that our health physicians are helping protect all human beings by properly diagnosing their patients with mental illnesses and are keeping record of all of their actions or urges.
But I guess this is all something that may be considered as wishful thinking.
A Guide to Mass Shootings in America - 1982-2012