Why the Frequency of Public Shootings Goes Beyond Gun Control
by Anjali Patel
Public shootings in malls, movie theaters, and schools have been occurring frequently. They have practically become a normal event to hear about on the news. According to the FBI’s report, from 2000-2013 there have been about 160 shootings in the United States. Many more have occurred from 2014-2015. While many scream “gun control” when confronted with this issue, it is possible that the heart of this problem goes beyond a law dictating what weapons one can own or keep in his or her house.
Our society instills the idea of individualism into the youth. When living in an urban or suburban area in the United States, it’s not normal for people to treat their neighbors like families or throw block parties every week. Although we do not need to go this far, it is essential for us to at least know who our neighbors are. I have been living in the same house for over 14 years and still do not know all of the people that live on my street. People tend to mind their own businesses. Everyone is caught up with their jobs and families and this makes it difficult for people to socialize with everyone they wish to. Our culture lacks community. The conversations and other interactions one has with others is perhaps the most influential factor in his or her decisions.
This tremendous technological breakthrough with the development of the internet and social media has helped the world connect. However, it has also disconnected people from the individuals around them. If overused, the internet could make some feel isolated. This is not an uncommon feeling since many use the internet every day and all day long to do their work, research for school, or simply scroll down social media. The internet is extremely beneficial and has various positive effects but it has largely contributed to a society where everything is digital. This digital age has led to more people losing touch with reality and community. This is perhaps what has caused the depression rates to rise.
Everyone wants to feel like they belong. It is human nature for everyone to feel like they are part of a team or part of something greater. At the same time, humans want to feel unique and good about themselves. This again relates back to community. Our culture during the digital era is rapidly changing people’s relationships with their friends, families, and acquaintances. The relationships people have with their surroundings are the most important aspects of their lives. It dictates every decision they make. These choices or occurrences could be as minor as someone deciding to throw a party to as major as somebody bringing a gun into an elementary school.
By no means does one’s environment justify anything that he or she has done. However, it is a major component when calculating the causes and effects for increased amounts of public shootings.
Anjali Patel is a high school student from New Jersey who’s livin’ life. She writes and formats for her school newspaper and literary magazine. In addition, she is the student council class treasurer and consistently volunteers for a local food pantry. She also writes for HelloFlo since writing is one of her main interests.