We are not yet one whole month into the new year, and there have already been more mass shootings than days; 40 mass shootings in the United States is the current total. The Gun Violence archive identifies a mass shooting as an “incident in which four or more people are killed.
January 21st, 2023 was the day of the largest mass shooting so far this year. On that day in Monterey Park California took the lives of 11 innocent people, as well as injured 9 people. Two days later in Oakland California, 8 people in total were shot, 1 was killed, and 7 were injured. 8 more people were shot in Half Moon Bay California, 7 were killed, and 1 was injured. That is 36 people who were shot, in just the span of two days. Chicago, Illinois also recently saw gun violence on January 23rd, where 5 people were shot, 2 were killed and 3 were injured.
NBC news called gun violence an “American Disease” in an article they published about the Monterey Park shootings and the show of data of mass shootings in the United States so far in 2023. American disease is an appropriate name for gun violence because it is truly an epidemic that is seemingly contained to the United States. Gun violence is one of the leading causes of premature death in the U.S. Each year more than 38,000 lives are taken due to guns, and almost 85,000 are injured. Compared to other countries, the U.S. is 3.96 deaths per 100,000 people, whereas Canada is .47 deaths per 100,000 people, and the United Kingdom is .04 deaths per 100,000.
In the wake of these mass tragedies, people are once again calling on our nation’s leaders to do something to prevent these occurrences. Since Joe Biden was elected in 2020, he has shown a desire for stricter gun safety legislation for the United States. President Biden made a statement on January 24th calling members of Congress to take action.“I once again urge both chambers of congress to act quickly and deliver this Assault Weapons Ban to my desk, and take action to keep American communities, schools, workplaces, and homes safe”
In 2022, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was passed to aid in combatting gun violence, including delivering more access to mental health services and helping equip schools with the resources required to keep schools safe. Unfortunately, this is not nearly enough that’s necessary to set the United States free of mass gun violence.
Bloomsburg University is a campus that is working to provide students and faculty with information regarding active shooter situations. An email was sent out on Wednesday, January 25th, that goes into detail about how to respond to an active shooter situation. All students should review that email in-depth and be informed of the protocols and safety tips.