Nation Mourns After 70+ Mass Shootings in 2023

By Shiara Naveen – Correspondent

Since the start of 2023, the United States has experienced a string of Mass Shootings that has left the nation reeling.

Considering the early days of the United States of America, firearms played a significant role in the social and political landscape of the country. The right to bear arms is important in the US Constitution, and the gun industry is a central part of American society. Some of the most recent shootings include the Lunar New Year shooting in a Monterey Park dance studio that killed eleven people, the shooting in Half Moon Bay, California which killed seven people on the outskirts, and the most recent Michigan State shooting that killed three students and injured five more, 

These numbers are being compared to recent years, and the trend is not looking good. 2023 has already recorded 76 mass shootings, which is a significant increase from previous years. These mass shootings have had a profound impact on the gun debate in America, with many people calling for stricter gun control laws. 

Ms. Courtnay Malcolm, a social studies teacher at SHS, says that the increased number of shootings is due to many reasons.“The COVID epidemic created even more of a mental health crisis, budgets for social services have been cut, and guns are much easier to obtain,” said Malcolm.

Louis Klarevas, a research professor at Teachers College at Columbia University who studies gun violence, says gun laws have an influence on shootings. “The idea that gun laws won’t have an impact in reducing mass shootings and school shooting violence is a myth,” said Klarevas.

SHS English teacher Ms. Rachel Walker offers solutions that might reduce this ongoing problem. “A multifaceted solution like a ban on weapons, semi-automatic weapons, and stricter gun laws would be helpful. More places should have stricter gun laws like Massachusetts as well. There should be a way to reach out to people with mental problems and help them before it escalates,” said Walker.

The news media often report on the details of the shootings, including the number of victims, the location, the weapons used, and any known information about the shooter. They may also report on the reaction of the witnesses, survivors, and local officials. And In some cases, the news media may provide coverage of the aftermath of the shooting.

Malcolm says depending on the news channel, there are different focuses. “If you are watching a newscast from Fox or OAN about a police shooting the emphasis is going to be on the person who got shot—they might be portraying them as a criminal or blaming them for the shooting. On MSNBC the emphasis would probably be that the police officer was wrong and the victim was innocent and for mass shootings, we need more gun control,” said Malcolm.

There has been criticism of the news media’s coverage of mass shootings. Some argue that the constant reporting on such events can contribute to a culture of fear and despair, while others suggest that the sensationalization of the shooter and the details of the event can inadvertently encourage copycat shootings.

Walker supports that statement by saying she appreciates the media attention but sometimes the wrong things are dramatized. “I’m glad they get media coverage, however, the wrong aspects can be sensationalized. There has to be a balance between getting the right news and the tragedy of getting ratings off these stories,” said Walker.

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