ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER SHOOTING IN THE US

Sacramento, California had a rough Sunday last week. Then Dallas, Texas saw a shooting a few days later. So how many more shooting should happen before gun ownership is restricted? Apart from the mass shootings we see happening in the US, according to data provided by gunviolencearchive.org, in 2019 there have been 23,941 suicides by gun alone, for 2020 that data is pending. A graph shown by The Trace revealed that gun deaths have risen, from 16,000 in 2019, to over 20,000 in 2021, using data from Gun Violence Archive.

In the Sacramento shooting case arrests have already been made, where one of the suspects had an early prison release, convicted on domestic violence and assault. The Dallas case is looking for suspects. My immediate thought was how come they can get a gun so quickly out of prison? Surely, psychological testing needs to be made mandatory when a citizen applies for gun ownership as well, and to frequently pass these tests, to prove they are mentally stable. Access to guns shouldn’t be so easy either. The American Psychological Association(APA) thought the same and developed a framework for practitioners when conducting firearm psychological evaluations. My question is whether this framework is actually used?

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People who are mentally unsound still own a gun in the US despite the federal law prohibiting it, and around the world, some are political leaders, playing with weaponry like toy. The problem with the USA is it is comprised of 50 states and each state has its own laws like you can see here. It is probably a headache to get all state governors to agree on one law for all states, because they are mostly men ‘’in charge’’, AP reported as of 2021, only 9 women served as governors. We can only dream of a world led by women, it would look and feel amazing.

My second discovery happened to be from Statista, the ‘’Number of people shot to death by the police in the United States from 2017 to 2022, by race’’ – that graph has an unknown race section that I’m more intrigued by, particularly the 2021 spike indicating 608 deaths people in charge and researchers should know more of, but it doesn’t disclose whether we are looking at police gun violence or accidental shooting. I don’t think we as a collective forgot about George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

I mentioned psychological evaluations for citizens when they apply for gun ownership, which should extend to police officers, as it makes sense to have tests every 6 months, not just when they start their careers. If they already do, why did George Floyd and Breonna Taylor happen, and continues to? I take a guess that nothing will change until it turns into a personal crisis for politicians. Until then, American children(but not of the rich) go through active shooter drills in school to prepare them for ”in case when”.

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