Gun Violence Has Gone Too Far


In the past year, the U.S. has witnessed thousands of lives claimed by gun violence, as well as over 600 mass shootings. Such events that gained national media attention recently include the massacre of teachers and children at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas; the death of three students at the University of Virginia, and the hate-fueled murder of five people at a Colorado Springs LGBTQIA+ Bar. Though these tragic events were the most widely publicized, they are by no means the only incidents of gun violence that have occurred, and unless we do something, the death toll will only continue to climb.


Measures to limit the number of mass shootings could be even simpler than taking away guns, since many of the people responsible for these acts of violence have troubled pasts, or showed warning signs for months beforehand.


Salvador Ramos, the shooter in Uvalde Elementary school, was reportedly bullied starting when he was attending that very school. Further, he started showing signs of emotional and mental disturbance including when he frequently skipped school, told people he would die at 18, and threatened people with graphic, unsettling descriptions of violence.


Similarly, Christopher Jones, the shooter at the University of Virginia, was said to be hazed and bullied at school, and had a strange conversation with Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis, two of the students he actively sought out and shot, only a week before the incident occurred.


Meanwhile, Anderson Lee Aldrich, the shooter at the LGBTQ bar, had a tumultuous childhood with an absentee father, and a mother who had mental health issues and often left Aldrich in the care of his grandmother. He also experienced bullying as a child, and a year before the shooting, his mother called the police claiming he was in possession of a bomb.


Of course, no amount of mental health issues or past bullying could ever excuse what these three people did. It cannot come close to accounting for the lives lost. However, it is important to note that had the mental issues of these people been addressed, whether through having them talk with someone or keeping guns away from them, then these terrible events could have been avoided. 


While we cannot change the past, we must keep such ideas in mind while shaping the future. These events make us ask ourselves: is there no way to prevent violence, or is it often easily preventable?