Mass Shootings: The Common American Tragedy


The U.S. congress defines a mass shooting as “three or more killings in a single incident” that occur in a public place.” According to this definition, 611 mass shootings have occurred across America in 2022 alone,  as said by Forbes, which is the second highest number in almost a decade. 

The most mass shootings occurred just in 2021, with 690 mass shootings across the country. In 2020, there was a total of 610 mass shootings, both recorded by The Gun Violence Archive. As stated by The Council on Foreign Relations, while the U.S. only contains 5 percent of the population, it holds 46 percent of world gun ownership. These numbers are nothing to be proud of. The increasingly high rates of gun violence across the country should be seen as an initiative to restrict gun laws, even going as far as changing the second amendment. 

According to the Gun Violence Archive, an organization keeping track of all U.S. gun violence since 2013, the total number of deaths in 2022 due to gun violence of all causes is 40,147 lives, but only 1,058 of them have reportedly been due to self-defense. It doesn’t help that 1,520 children under the age of 18 have been killed as a result of gun violence in just 2022 alone, which was primarily through school shootings, according to statistics from The Gun Violence Archive, something seen far too often in the news and yet almost nothing is done about it. 

“There are too many mass shootings for the U.S. media to cover”, claims The Washington Post by using this as an article title . This comes after the Buffalo shooting in New York, which targeted black people, Uvalde Texas elementary school shooting, and the more recent Club Q shooting in Colorado, which is now being labeled as a hate crime against the LGBTQ+ community. These are unfortunately only a few of the more prominent examples of gun violence in the country this year. The loss of lives was not only unjust, but it could have been prevented. 

With all this being said, many look at the perpetrators of mass shootings to figure out why they cause these instances. People have begun to claim that mental health issues are what cause their irrational actions. According to The New York Times, after Uvalde, Texas governor Greg Abbott claimed “‘Anybody who shoots somebody else has a mental health challenge. Period.’” While this can be the case, The New York Times also brings up the point that while mental illness and its diagnosis can be a red flag, not every single American who faces mental health issues kills. Similarly, not every mass shooter can be diagnosed with the same or even similar illness, and therefore there is no tell-all diagnosis that can discover every mass shooter.

Because of this, it is easy to draw the conclusion that the United States should further restrict gun laws. As of 2022, there are still no federal restrictions on semiautomatic assault weapons, military-style .50 caliber rifles, handguns, or large-capacity magazines, as stated by Despite other things such as Red Flag Laws, gun control in the United States is not to the extent it should be to prevent these types of tragedies. 

The year is barely over, yet has seen 611 mass shootings in 2022 alone, and these numbers keep going up. The county has reached a rate of multiple mass shootings per day. Innocent lives are being lost. More needs to be done.