Bite the Bullet – Mass Shootings in the United States

289. That’s the amount of mass shootings that have occurred in the United States alone during 2017 thus far with the most fatal being the Las Vegas shooting. The most gruesome shootings in modern U. S history have occurred within the past two decades, the fatality rate rising each time. That leaves America with a few questions: How do these things happen? What kind of people create these tragedies without second thought?



2016 was the worst year for mass shooting in the past decade, with the majority of which occurring in Chicago, Illinois. As apparent from the graph, the amount of shooting incidents have increased up to 34% from 2013 to 2016. 52,082 gun related deaths were reported in 2016, the bulk of it coming from the Orlando shooting. While the Orlando death toll is only a fraction compared to the U.S’s largest death toll due to a mass shooting (300 killed in the 1921 Tulsa race riot), the amount is still staggering considering how far humanity has come.

Congress and the GOP

During the first few days after the shooting, Americans had mixed reactions. The Democratic party was outraged and called for immediate action. The Republican party had mixed reactions. Some republican members sides with the democrats, calling for immediate action. Some members remained neutral or remained against harsher gun control. Some members were focused on even looser gun laws. Many Americans from both parties however were frustrated with how slowly congress moved on releasing a statement or drafting a bill. Even so, congress has now drafted a few bills. The most prominent bill on the floor currently is the SHARE act. The SHARE act will have those who would like to purchase silencers to go through a $200 tax as well as a lengthier registration process that includes a criminal background check.

The SHARE act would also include more provisions such as allowing gun owners to carry registered firearms across state lines, carrying firearms in national parks, no longer classifying shotguns, shotgun shells and large caliber rifles as “destructive devices,” which would remove certain registration and taxation requirements, as well as prohibitions in some states.

Another bill that may restrict gun laws is the ‘Gun-show Loop’ legislation. This bill’s purpose to address the alleged exemption that gun-consumers have from background check requirements for sales of guns between individuals.  The legislation would mean requiring background checks on all gun sales, including those at gun shows and over the Internet.

While currently, there are more bills being drafted, the government’s next steps are currently uncertain.