On the morning of April 12, the New York subway becomes the new place of the new subway shooting in the United StatesWhich left dozens injured and puts – once again in the spotlight – the United States as the country with the largest number of weapons and attacks of this type.
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A total of 13 people were shot, five of whom were in critical condition, after they were surprised at 8:30 a.m. – like many people who were about to go to work – when a man wearing a gas mask opened a random fire at Subway Station #36. In Brooklyn, New York. Another 19 people were injured due to the panic caused by the attack and the inhalation of gases released by the attacker.
The White House has announced that it is investigating whether it was a terrorist attack or another shooting incident that has plagued the country for decades, rekindling the debate over gun ownership. Namely, the United States has the world’s highest per capita arms ownership rate. Does this translate to being the country with the most mass shootings?
What are mass shootings?
Although there is no precise definition of the concept of mass shooting, according to Archive on Gun Violence, it is when four or more people are shot, injured, or killed, except for the attacker.
This definition of shooting four people, regardless of whether the event resulted in injuries or deaths, is often used by the press and non-profit organizations. This concept does not include inter-gang murder or murder involving several members of the same family.
Why are there so many shootings in the US?
Although each attacker may have a different motive, according to a report in the New York Times, what may explain why there are so many shootings in the country is the sheer number of guns in circulation.
Americans make up about 4.4% of the world’s population, but own 42% of the world’s weapons. From 1966 to 2012, 31% of collegiate shooters worldwide were Americans, according to a 2015 study by Adam Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama.
The specialist notes that, according to his research, the rate of weapon possession of a country is associated with the probability of mass shootings. In this sense, he states that only 4% of gun deaths in the United States can be attributed to mental health problems.
How many guns per person in the United States?
The United States, with a population of 319 million, has more weapons than any other country. For every 100 people there are 120 weapons, indicates a study conducted by the Institute of Higher International Studies at the University of Geneva (Switzerland). In Europe, the figure reaches 15 guns per hundred inhabitants.
What other factors contribute to the shootings in the United States?
In addition to gun ownership, other contributing factors have been suggested, albeit to a lesser degree:
- Greater access and possession of weapons. The United States has the highest per capita gun ownership in the world at 120.5 firearms per 100 people. Yemen comes in second place, with 52.8 weapons per 100 inhabitants
- Mental illness and its treatment (or lack thereof) with psychiatric medications. This is controversial. Many mass shootings in the United States have suffered from mental illness, but the estimated number of cases of mental illness has not increased as significantly as the number of mass shootings.
- Desire for revenge for a long history of bullying.
- Desire for fame and notoriety.
- The phenomenon of imitation.
- The government fails to conduct background checks due to incomplete databases and/or staff shortages.
- The wide gap that exists between people’s expectations of themselves and their actual achievements in the modern consumer society and the individualist culture it promotes.
How did the shootings increase in New York?
So far in 2022, more than 360 people have been victims of a shooting in New York. In the past two years alone, this type of accident has increased by 72%, according to official data compiled by La Opinion newspaper.
In this sense, New York Governor Cathy Hochhol stressed that New Yorkers are “sick and tired” of gun violence, and promised to use all available tools to combat it, in cooperation with the City Council.