Alongside the rampant availability of assault-style weapons, it's clear that mass shootings have become more common, causing a higher death and injury toll
Yes, it is an assault weapon problem—but it is also a mental health problem. One can make the case that all gun ownership for ‘self-protection’ is paranoid if not a crypto kill-wish…the expression ‘gun-crazy’ is no idle one…
I’ve been saying since the Las Vegas massacre that Paddock and other mass shooters, including the Sutherland Springs shooter, became addicted to guns. The gun addiction, like drug addiction, overwhelms the natural humanity we’re born with – compassion, empathy, and love for other humans. Drug addiction often results in the addict’s death due to an overdose. Mass murder is the gun addict’s overdose; like a drug overdose, it usually results in the shooter’s death. There are other parallels of drug and gun addiction. For example, the gun addict is inexorably drawn to guns as the drug addict is to drugs. Our current anti-drug laws don’t really solve the drug addiction problem. Our current gun control laws don’t really prevent mass shootings. Drug addiction is a mental phenomenon. So is gun addiction (this is where Trump is totally wrong – without the guns, there would be no gun addiction).
Understanding and identifying gun addiction is essential to curtailing the mass murders. We have to carefully watch those in our society who show an abnormal affection for guns; who have many of them, have vast amounts of ammunition, shoot often – all signs clearly exhibited by the mass shooters, even those whose addiction is encouraged by ISIS. Once gun addicts are identified, they will find it harder to prepare for mass murders like the recent shooters did, and they might even seek treatment if they come to understand that they have an addiction. An important change would be to hold people responsible who were aware that someone was a gun addict but did nothing to prevent the murders. Again, the Sutherland Springs shooter is a prime example. Many people, had they been taught what gun addiction is, would have been able to report him to law officers, and law officers, similarly educated, would have looked carefully at the shooter’s arsenal, and probably would have noticed that he was ineligible to own any guns.
As the graphs show mass shootings are on the rise. Is there an increase in gun ownership that correlates with that rise? I think gun ownership has if anything declined over twenty years. What does correlate with the rise in mass shootings is the use of glyphosate which causes a decline in serotonin production. Serotonin is necessary to avoid depression and control anger. Maybe the problem is more that there is a brain chemistry problem and not a gun problem.
We all feel like hurting or even killing someone at times, but we don’t. usually. Brain chemistry and our upbringing have much to do with that. During WW II only 10% of the Army actually fired at the enemy. We are all taught as children to not harm others and even if ordered to do so 90% of US soldiers were not able to do it and they all had guns. Of course the Army has changed their training techniques to fix that problem. Maybe that is why many mass shooters are ex military.
I believe you’re wrong about a decline in gun ownership, but that doesn’t really matter to this discussion. Glyphosate may have harmful effects, but this is the first time I’ve seen a claim like yours concerning serotonin. And clearly if there is such a connection, it’s not specifically related to guns. This sounds like a Trump argument.
The comment about “ex military” seems questionable. I’ve never heard that the Army had to change their training to fix a problem of soldiers being unwilling to use their guns. I see no connection between this and the phenomenon of mass shootings by civilians, whether or not they’re ex-military. If many mass shooters are ex-military, it’s probably because their affection toward, or addiction to, guns made military service attractive to them. But I don’t think military training accounts for the propensity of mass shooters like Kelley to kill innocent civilians.