#PrayForAmerica

%23PrayForAmerica

The world is scared. With the ongoing crisis in Syria, the attack in Paris and the stabbing in London, we have not seen peace for a very long time.

While America appears as one of the “safer” places in the world, taking in refugees and President Obama making proposals to stop ISIS in his Oval Office speech on Sunday, there are internal happenings that pose as a threat– perhaps even more or equal to that of ISIS: mass shootings happen daily, and almost nothing is being done about it.

On Dec. 2, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 and injured 21 people at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Calif.

After the shooting, Republican candidates in the 2016 presidential race offered their condolences and prayers…

…while Democratic candidates called for preventive action.

But that wasn’t even the only shooting that happened that day. That morning, one person was killed and a few more injured in Savannah, Georgia. Later that day, someone was shot and killed outside of a health clinic in Houston. And at a Target Store just 10 miles from where the San Bernardino shooting took place, there were reported shots fired. There have been more shootings in America in 2015 than days. ShootingTracker.com, a gun violence archive, gathered data on shootings killing or injuring more than four people since Jan. 1, 2015, and as of November 30, 334 days have passed, there have been 351 mass shootings. The tracker classifies mass shootings as gun violence that have four or more victims, killed or injured.

The 351 mass shootings from this year alone are plotted on the interactive map above. Click on each marker to learn more. Statistically, the number of mass shootings will only increase next year if nothing is done about gun control. The amount so far this year, 351, has passed the total in 2014, 336, which is more than 2013’s 363 shootings.

There is one obvious reason why mass shootings have become familiar in America. According to data from the Small Arms Survey in 2007, a global center that gathers statistics about small weapons and armed violence, showed that Americans own more guns per-capita than people in any other country: there are at least 89 guns for every 100 Americans.

And this number is growing. This Black Friday, the FBI conducted 185,345 background checks on gun consumers, a record breaking amount.

Congress has not introduced any legislation regarding gun control since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, where 20 elementary school children and six teachers were killed. Several reforms have been made, including expanded background checks, but that failed by a vote of 54 to 46 in the Senate in 2013.

Now, with the presidential elections coming up, it’s very improbable that President Obama or Congress will propose anything regarding gun control, even if they wanted to. We are just waiting for another incident, another session of grief and another hashtag.

Mass shootings can be prevented. We cannot let them continue to be a routine. What’s it going to take?


Cheryl Hao – Asst. Castoff Editor