The Impact of Mass Shootings on Society

Between 2007 and 2023, there have been 299 mass shootings in the United States, and this number is only increasing. Mass shootings have had a significant negative impact on society, ranging from increased mental issues to fear of being in public spaces. Gun violence is also the leading cause of death for youth in the United States, instilling fear in current generations of children. Racial and ethnic minorities are a common target of mass shootings and hate crimes.

A recent example of a gun violence crime occurred on January 21, when a gunman set foot in a dance studio in Los Angeles and opened fire, killing ten people and wounding ten others. The day was Lunar New Year’s Eve, a holiday that marks the first new moon of the lunisolar calendar. It is largely celebrated by many Asian communities, and this act of violence has stirred up fears regarding anti-Asian efforts.

Not only do mass shootings pose a threat for minorities, but children have also become a common target on school grounds.

The mass shooting on May 24, 2022, that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, is said to be the deadliest shooting ever at a Texas public school. The victims were nineteen children and two adults. A former Robb Elementary student entered the school with a gun he purchased after his 18th birthday, which can instill more fear in society, considering society is unaware of who can acquire a weapon.

Families and friends of these victims must grieve and cope with the loss of an innocent individual and survivors must live with the trauma associated with mass shootings.

Living with the fear of setting foot in a public location without being guaranteed personal safety is something that a large fraction of people worry about, which affects their day-to-day lives and overall mental health. Research has demonstrated that mass shootings lead to higher rates of depression and anxiety and a higher risk of suicide among youth. Furthermore, mass shootings largely contribute to a decreased sense of well-being in a community.

Mass shootings plaguing the news and media have also led to increased attention being turned to gun policies and legislation. Advocacy surrounding gun violence and gun control reform movements have arisen as more people become aware of gun violence. One mass shooting leads to a 15% increase in the number of firearm bills passed in a state during the following year.

It is important to keep in mind that, for survivors of mass shootings, the psychological effects of a violent act don’t end when a shooting ends. Increased mass shootings have had a negative impact on the survivors, the families and friends of victims, and the overall welfare of communities. What could be more imperative than fixing the flaws of the nation that have cost thousands of innocent people their lives?