See Beyond the Problem

the hard hitting facts about the endless mass shootings in this nation


Photo courtesy of WikiMedia Commons Photo By Doctorrads

In recent years, there has been a drastic spike in mass shootings that resulted in multiple deaths. From 2015 to 2017, the number of death has over doubled.

If you turn on any news channel, look at any paper, or turn to a news radio station, you’ll be sure to hear of some mass shooting that changed the lives of many in the nation. Most of our attention has been on the recent shootings in Pittsburgh and California, but they happen more often than expected.
According to USA Today, the shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, at the Borderline Bar and Grill, was the 307th mass shooting (shootings involving 4 or more people) in 2018. These shootings resulted in 328 deaths and 1,251 injuries.
The Washington Post also released an article focusing specifically on 158 different mass shootings from August of 1966, until recent times. These shootings were conducted by 162 shooters and took the lives of 1,135 people. While these results make it very obvious that something needs to be changed now, I’m not here to propose a solution. I simply believe that you should make yourself aware of what is happening around you.
In a large number of cases, the shooters have been diagnosed with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and PTSD, while other cases came to an end before the shooter’s mental health could be examined.
For the man in Rancho Tehama California, that was exactly the case. On November 17th, 2017, he killed his wife, and hiding her in the floorboards of his home, he rammed the gate of an elementary school and opened fire. He later shot himself in his car after being ran of the road during a police chase. His rampage left 5 dead and 10 people injured, none of which were children.
In a letter to the editor in the New York Times, a man wrote about the amount of military personnel committing such acts. He stated that “more one third of the adult perpetrators of the 43 worst mass killings, since 1984, had been in the United States military.”
Similar to the Borderline Bar and Grill shooter, a former marine sharpshooter and student at the University of Texas took his rage out on family and fellow classmates, in August of 1966. He stabbed and shot both his mother and wife before going into a tower at the school and began to target students below. Before being shot by a police officer, the man, Charles Whitman, left 17 innocent people dead and 30 injured.
Whitman left a suicide note, asking for a mental autopsy. He explained that he had been tortured by violent urges and the thoughts of killing his family. It was reported that Whitman even told a physicist about how he had thought about going to the tower to shoot at students, but the doctor never followed up on the red flag.
Thinking back to The Tree of Life Shooting in Pittsburgh, many people don’t realize that it was not the first of its kind in the area. In April of 2000, an immigration lawyer began to target Jewish, Asian-Americans, African Americans, and Indian citizens in Mount Lebanon. This racially motivated hate spree lasted 70 minutes while he covered a 20 mile span. He left five dead after surrendering to police custody.
Although the numbers of those affected are smaller than the Tree of Life shooting, which left 11 dead and six injured, it is still important to remember. Each case shows that things can change in an instant. A place of even a place of worship can be turned into a horror scene. Those attending the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in 2017 know this all too well.
Not long after Jason Andean began to perform, Stephen Paddock busted out the window of his hotel, and began to fire at the concert goers below. Armed with 24 guns, he fired round after round, for 11 minutes. NBC News reported that 59 people were killed, and at least 500 were injured, while the Washington Post claims that there were 851 injuries, 422 from gunfire.
One of the few shootings that come near to the same number of deaths as the Harvest Music Festival happened just a year prior.
At an LGBT club in Orlando Florida, a 29 year old father, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic state, began to fire rounds into the crowd. During the shooting, he called 911, pledging to ISIS. CNN named the shooting “the nation’s worst terror attack since 9/11.” The 49 victims that were killed and the 53 that were injured, along with many others, were trapped with the shooter, Omar Mateen, for hours. Manteen was later killed by a SWAT team when the hostage negotiations ended in a gun battle.
In both 2013 and 2014 the FBI investigated Manteen. Both times he was deemed harmless
The amount of press coverage on these shootings sometimes encourages some people to follow through with these acts. To some, they see the fame that comes from it as glory. The hunger and greed for fame is enough to push them to their limits.
Robert Benjamin Smith was a senior at Rose-Mar College of Beauty back in 1966. Daily News stated that he was “Like most children….dreamed of making his mark on the world,” but he took a different approach than most. Smith locked 7 people inside the salon. He ordered them to lay in a circle with their heads in the middle and he ‘laughed’ as he shot them. Smith was 18 when he took the lives of a three year old child, and 4 more.
While I am unaware of what to do about this problem, I am aware that there is one. Some of these shooters were pushed aside when they showed obvious signs of danger. Others were completely normal members of society until this point. There is a problem here in American, most of which concerns the mental stability of certain citizens. While I wish that this is something we could possibly never read another headline about, I’m certain that we will. How this is addressed is up to our government, what do you propose?