Lately, it seems like there are more shootings than ever before. It’s ridiculous, really. First, I had to wonder if it’s the result of a bias of some sort… are more gun violence incidents being reported on the news? What are the current gun violence statistics compared to previous years?
Well, here are gun violence stats from 2015: http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/ and from 2014: http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/tolls/2014
The total number of incidents for 2015 (49,486) is about 2,000 less compared to 2014 (51,772). Also, the number of deaths are currently less in 2015 (12,528) compared to 2014 (12,575).
However, the number of injuries are higher in 2015 (25,291) compared to 2014 (23,035). Also, there have been over 30 more mass shootings in 2015 (315) compared to 2014 (281). Further, there have been more officers involved in incidents in 2015 (4,120) compared to 2014 (3,216). The number of children and teens injured has increased, too.
There are also statistics on accidental shootings. Really? Like, “Oops, I shot my gun by accident… OOPS!”
And because of all this gun violence, more people are buying guns… which may create more opportunities for “oops” and “angry” moments being exploited by guns.
Unfortunately, gunviolencearchive.org began those statistics only in 2014, so it’s impossible to see statistics further back with their specific method of measurement.
A recent South Park episode, Pc Principal Final Justice, satirizes gun violence, and should be applauded. They didn’t satirize it by everyone getting shot, but by every single person wielding a gun and not shooting anybody. Even if they didn’t have the guns, it implies, they still could have solved their problems. But the characters feel as if the gun positively influenced the resolution of the problem, when it only escalated it in a hilarious way.
Here’s a quick example clip from the episode–this is exactly what would happen if everyone had guns: http://southpark.cc.com/clips/2gkclc/marsh-vs-marsh
The episode asks a question: “Should everyone have guns, or should no one have guns?”
Yes, there’s the saying, “Guns don’t kill, people do.” I’d say, reactive people kill people; emotional people kill people; miserable people kill people; stupid people kill people; mentally ill people kill people; people who feel unjustified or want to enforce their power kill people. It’s all of those things.
But if all of these people didn’t have a gun… can they kill people with a gun and cause these statistics?