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What Do All These Mass Shootings in America Have in Common?

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I now understand the surreal experience of seeing your hometown talked about and analyzed from all over the world. All the gasps about how the mass shooting “was only four miles away” from where the president’s fundraiser made me laugh. Our city is a little over eight square miles. Everything is close.

These shootings, however, were too close.

In what becomes an all too familiar refrain, we look for reasons why: he was mentally ill, a drug addict, played video games…he was in a gang.

Yet, it’s never the guns.

The one thing that the Navy shipyard, Chicago, and my neighborhood all have in common is that somehow, somewhere,  someone was able to access guns that are capable of a great deal of damage in a short period of time.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a military base, or a high crime area or a city. My city had more murders in 17 minutes than it had in the entire three years prior combined.

It doesn’t matter if the guns were obtained legally, stolen or bought in an illegal sale. It matters that the guns were there to be used by a mentally ill man who played video games or a gang member settling a debt.

Since the Newtown mass killing, there have been 16 mass shootings, many that never make the splash page of a website. Tulsa, Oklahoma; Fernley, Nevada; Hialeah, Florida; or Clarksburg, West Virginia — what did they all have in common?

It’s the guns, stupid.

After Monday’s Navy shipyard shooting, Dr. Jane Orlowski, the chief medical officer at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center spoke at a news conference.

There’s something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate. There’s something wrong here when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries. There is something wrong. I would like you to put my trauma center out of business, I really would. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots and not to be an expert on this.

It’s a great city. It’s a great country, and we have to work together to get rid of this. Because we just cannot have, you know, one more shooting with, you know, so many people killed.

Let’s get rid of this. This is not America.

Unfortunately it is. It only happens here.

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10:35AM PDT on Oct 22, 2013

Hi Bill.. Good point and I wonder if they didn't do all of their history lessons. History has proven time and again how "GOOD" people with guns stopped many "BAD" people repeatedly throughout the globes history.. While I feel some need a serious up grading in their training to properly handle and understand what justifies the use of same the true problem in the majoirity of these mass tragedies is mentally disturbed people. Fisty years ago we didn't have these events and we didn't have the drugs that many depressed people are prescribed. I can't prove their is a corelation but after 40 years in the health field I do have some very strong suspicions.

If all the flight crew was armed of each airline on 9/11 I am willing to bet my life on their would have been no twin towers mass murder. Guns would have leveled the playing field in each case and the deranged Muslims would have been dealt with on the spot. Black Jack Pershing had the right solution when dealing with extremists.. It cured the problem for many MANY years. ? Time for a REPEAT ? Makes intelligent people wonder.. Del R.

10:01AM PDT on Oct 22, 2013

Some people just have it in the back of their heads that if you get rid of the guns, the world would be a better place. Come on people, look at the rest of the world and let it be a lesson. If there are no guns, people who are sick and intent on killing other people will just resort to other means. Some of these other means are far more detrimental than a gun, like bombs, cars, and other modes of transportation. A prime example is a plane, like the ones flown into the twin towers back in 2001, or did we forget about them?

3:26AM PDT on Oct 12, 2013

Most of them are mentally ill. We need to look at our mental health system.

12:50PM PDT on Sep 27, 2013

Well....americans like to sell guns and have more than one, but when some one use them they complain.
Stop selling guns to sick people...and normal ones.

10:11AM PDT on Sep 27, 2013

we need to look at mental health in this country

4:41AM PDT on Sep 26, 2013

Jane R. actually yes, Guns ARE the problem, if it has been a knife, a club, or any other form of weapon, even a bow and arrow, far fewer people, if any at all, would have died. The disturbed will always be with us, no matter how far we advance in diagnosing and treating these people. Making sure that they do not have access to firearms would prevent these MURDERS and the fact that the most killings/injuries from guns are in homes that HAVE guns. You want "protection", try a German Shepard.

4:34AM PDT on Sep 26, 2013

Robby K. No, you've posted delusional claims which aren't even remotely true and gone out of your way to claim a comment which references the amount of spin in your propaganda and compares it with a blender as if it is a physical threat to your life, that into and of itself shows the weak grip on reality in your thought processes. Seek therapy.

11:54PM PDT on Sep 25, 2013


8:04PM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

Guns aren't the problem behind all these shootings. It's the lunatics behind the guns. All peace abiding individuals should have the right to own guns for self defense. Stripping us of this right will only increase crime and we will all be at the mercy of the monsters who want to rob and kill innocent people. Stand up for your rights now or lose them all.

7:01PM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

these mass shooters are always on antidepressants, but the press never goes there

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