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The Presence of Mass Shootings in America

People+walk+from+the+U.S.+Capitol+to+the+Washington+Monument+in+Washington%2C+Saturday%2C+Jan.+26%2C+2013%2C+during+a+march+on+Washington+for+gun+control.+%28AP+Photo%2FSusan+Walsh%29
People walk from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, during a march on Washington for gun control. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

People walk from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, during a march on Washington for gun control. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

AP

AP

People walk from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, during a march on Washington for gun control. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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Ever notice how often you hear about mass shootings in the United States? This is because Americans are ten times more likely to be killed by guns than people in other countries. Furthermore, the United States gun-related murder rate is 25 times higher compared to 22 other high-income nations. What classifies a “mass shooting” is any incident in which a gunman shoots or kills four or more people in the same general time and location. According to the FBI, incidents in schools and businesses represent 7 out of 10 active shootings. Nine in churches, twenty-six in elementary schools, forty-nine in nightclubs, and fifty-eight at country music festivals amount to a just a few of the notable casualties. By definition, our nation has seen 273 mass shootings between January 1st and October 3rd, averaging to 7.5 per week.

The most recent Las Vegas attack was the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history with at least 58 innocent people killed and 527 injured. With such horrifying news, gun control debates are arising along with the demand for guns. Today, civilians in the U.S. own 270 million guns, enough to arm every adult in the country and have weapons left over. This makes America the country with the most guns per capita. Seventy-four percent of gun owners say owning a gun is essential to their own sense of freedom while only thirty-five percent of non-gun owners feel this way. Such a large presence of weapons in our country and easy accessibility to firearms demands serious responsibility of gun owners. Instead of grieving mass shootings and moving on so quickly, it’s time to spark conversation about what can be done in the future to protect the “life and liberty” of every American, as promised in the Constitution.

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