Public Mass Shootings On The United States Essay

Public Mass Shootings On The United States Essay

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Public mass shootings have increased at an alarming rate over the past three decades and have become a growing concern for the people of the United States. It has appeared that approximately every few months, media outlets report incidences of tragedy involving a sole gunman targeting groups of people with the intent to harm or extinguish life due to various motives. Recent research data indicated that over 80 public mass shootings have occurred in the United States since 1983. Some of the more recent shootings to date are: Marysville-Pilchick High in October 2014; Santa Barbara, California in May 2014; Fort Hood, Texas U.S. Army base in April 2014; Washington Navy Yard in September 2013; Sandy Hook Elementary, Connecticut in December 2012; and Aurora Century 16 Movie Theater in Aurora, Colorado in July 2012. In 2013, research conducted by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) defined public mass shootings as events that happened in a public place where four or more people were injured or died as a result of gunfire. CRS also argued that the gunman typically selected their victims at random. J. Harris and R. Harris (2012) referred to public mass shootings acts as rampage violence. Ironically, following each tragic public mass shooting identified above, there were spirited debates about gun control among political pundits, government officials and the American people , deliberations on the influence of media and entertainment glorifying violence, gaps in mental health services and a commitment to address the problem but to no avail. With no progress made on addressing public mass shootings, it was concluded that current research on mass violence has been ineffective and required some modification (J. Harris & R. Harris,...


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...e public perception on guns and mental illness is overdue. The concerns, safety and wellbeing of the people have gone unaddressed with the lack of change to gun laws, implementation of additional prevention programs and accessible mental health systems. The present study is significant because it allows mental health and social work practitioners to develop interventions such as: create additional assessment tools to identify early warning signs and systems and prevention programs to address the rise in public mass shootings. In addition, this study will equip social workers with critical information to advocate for public policy to improve access to mental health services as well as advocate to policy makers regarding the need to create policies to reduce access to lethal weapons. Furthermore, the literature review findings will propose recommendations for future.

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