By: Cydneii Lung’aho
Dead, injured, murdered, killed. All these words have flashed across our screens in some way, but lately it seems to be more suffocating. Over the last few months, there has been an uneasy increase in the number of violent incidents across the United States. As 2022 came towards an end, the story of four University of Idaho students’ tragic murders broke in November. The same night, three students died and two were left injured after a former student opened fire at the University of Virginia. In the same month, five dead and 18 injured in a mass shooting in an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado and just as the year began, a six year old shot a teacher at an elementary school in Virginia.
As we approach the second month of 2023, there have already been 49 mass shootings according to the Gun Violence Archive. While many of the gruesome attacks have not only been due to gun violence, statistically, it is the leading cause of death among ages 1 to 34. People in this age group are also more likely to commit violent crimes with guns, which has been correlated to easy access and distribution of guns not only within that demographic, but also in United States in general. Gun control laws in the United States currently encompass the licensing and use of guns based on its original inclusion in American lawmaking: wartime protection and self defence. In the current day and age, such drastic forms of protection are questioned for their necessity but continue to be perpetuated within the U.S government via Republican officials.
While gun violence continues to rise within the country, it hasn’t been the only form of newsworthy stories. Police brutality has also maintained a prominent space among American screens with the recent death of Tyre Nichols. Nichols, an avid photographer and skater, died after being brutally beaten, restrained, tased, and pepper sprayed by five police officers in Memphis, Tennessee. Nichols’ death is yet another inhumane result of a long line of institutionalised ignorance and bias that has sadly taken the lives of many before him. His death follows Keenan Anderson’s, who died from cardiac arrest after being restrained and tased six times by a LAPD police officer. The untimely deaths of each sparked peaceful protests in their respective states as well as across the country, but continue to ask the all too important question: When will there be change?
Currently the United States leads the world in deaths via gun violence, averaging 79 percent of homicidal gun-killings compared to Canada’s 37 percent and the United Kingdom’s four. The United States also leads internationally as the number one country with law enforcement killings, proving incomparable to other countries surveyed. Initiatives to promote crisis response, community crime prevention, and gun control laws are available for U.S citizens to take advantage of and share. Fundraising and push for police force reeducation and/or defunding is also a popular area of support available to the public. As the year continues, we must continue to remain vigilant for the well-being of not only ourselves, but the country as a whole. In the last 29 days, approximately 1,320 people have died from gun violence in the United States with 24 out of the 50 states already having faced at least one mass shooting this year. In the same time frame, there have been 79 victims of police brutality. This shouldn’t be our news.This is not normal.
Read more about it at this sites:
https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/query/0484b316-f676-44bc-97ed-ecefeabae077/map https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2020/06/05/policekillings/ https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/investigations/police-shootings-database/ https://www.instagram.com/p/Cn5PS66vnZB/?hl=en https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/13/us/keenan-anderson-black-lives-matter-cousin-police-death/index.ht ml