Passing laws to make it more difficult for people to purchase guns in the U.S. would help to reduce mass shootings. But there are already 400 million guns in the U.S., which is more than the country’s population, and so it is extremely naive to think that new gun laws would be enough to make shootings stop. Anyone who wants a gun will still be able to get one quite easily on the black market after new laws are passed.
In addition to passing reasonable gun laws, we also need to change our culture. Until that happens, mass shootings will continue.
We need to teach nonviolent conflict resolution in every school in the U.S. Children grow up in violent homes, live in violent neighborhoods, attend violent schools, and are exposed to violent video games and entertainment every day of their lives, and then we wonder why some of them turn out to be violent. Some of these children are mentally ill and most of them never learn anything about how to resolve conflict peacefully. Throw in a lack of hope, and we have an unhealthy mix of conditions that can lead to violent behavior for a few mentally ill people.
We need to have a better safety net and social services so that all children will have hope and can grow up with the support they need to thrive and become productive members of society. Health care, dental care, drug and alcohol abuse treatment, counseling, school breakfast and lunch, college, trade school, public transportation, and elder care should all be free and well-financed through higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Also, community block grants and other innovative financial support should be distributed equitably to create and support businesses and employment opportunities, especially in low income areas.
Given enough time and financial resources, these support systems can work to significantly reduce violence in the U.S. It is in the best interests of everyone to commit the resources to ensure that they do work.
The Guardian newspaper is asking people to submit their ideas about what should be done to reduce mass shootings in the U.S.:
These gun laws would reduce gun violence, but they would not save 15,000 lives: