2015 marks the most mass shootings in U.S.
Families and friends mourned their lost and injured close ones at a nighttime vigil Wednesday, Dec. 2, holding candles in the frigid winter air. 14 people were killed and 21 more wounded by two married assailants and the nation was tuned into the news, informed of the terrible, yet common occurrence, of a mass shooting. San Bernardino marked the 354th mass shooting to plague our nation in 45 states this year, excluding Hawaii, New Hampshire, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming, according to the New York Times.
The U.S. is the only nation with such a severe outbreak of mass shootings, and not just recently. Between 1966 and 2012, there were 292 mass shootings across the world, with 90 of them occurring within the US, a whopping 31 percent among the global population, according to CNN.
Senior Wyatt Spencer feels there needs to be stabilization with guns across the country.
“I wouldn’t want to go to a place where I know the people have guns and will start shooting each other,” Spencer said.
The United States are not only the record holder of mass shootings, but they also structure gun laws differently than many countries, mainly in a more lenient manner. Through the U.S Supreme Court case of Printz vs. United States, state departments aren’t legally obligated to enforce federal gun laws, instead initially enforcing their state’s individual laws. Although unique, this adds a lot of differentiation among state laws.
A statistics page from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development described the United States as having permissive, or lenient, gun laws. The U.S. was one of two in 12 countries that held permissive level gun regulations.
Belgium, the other country holding this regulation level, only had seven fatal rampage shooting incidents from 2009-2013, compared to the U.S., which had 227. The highest number of mass shootings from a restricted level country was 77 in Norway, and 25 in Germany. Since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting on Dec. 14, 2012 , it is estimated that 1,042 mass shootings have occurred in the US over the course of three years, according to Vox news.
“The purchase of a gun shouldn’t be so easily handed out. Similar to driving you need to prove that you have a least some optimal level of maturity to wield a dangerous tool such as a car or gun,” junior Ethan Tran said.
Five percent of the global population are Americans, or 318 million citizens as of 2014. Out of those, 42% own a firearm privately, according to Vox news.
Spencer sees the problem is solvable, but it will take time to get the problem of mass shootings solved.
“Taking guns and ammo away from the public isn’t the answer, I think that will make it worse. I think for someone to own a gun they should have to have a hunting license or a rifle permit.” Spencer said.
Roughly 462 people are lost to mass shootings this year, with 1,314 people surviving the incidents with injuries, according to Greg Myre, international editor of NPR.org. Thousands of individuals are murdered or left scarred from the encounter. In order to create a more peaceful, less radicalized country, we should be more aware of the situation getting out of hand.