Another mass shooting broke out in the United States on Sunday, May 30th, this time in Miami Florida. It was early morning when a large group of people was gathered together at a banquet hall to enjoy what they must’ve thought would be another ordinary Sunday. The shooting occurred outside of the banquet hall that had been rented out for a concert, as the murderers shot blindly into the crowd, hitting as many concert-goers as possible.
The authorities are on the hunt for the shooters and they believe the incident to have been targeted, meaning that the shooters were aiming for specific patrons. When the dust settled, the two dead were pronounced dead at the scene and at least 25 others were wounded and taken to various hospitals in the nearby area. They’re currently being treated for their wounds.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis chimed in on Sunday, taking to Twitter to say:
We mourn the loss of the two victims and are praying for the recovery of the more than 20 people injured at El Mula Banquet Hall near Hialeah. We are working with local authorities to bring justice to the perpetrators. Justice needs to be swift & severe!
This came less than a day after another hail of bullets in another location killed one person and injured six the same weekend. The shootings, both the one at the banquet hall and the other in the Wynwood area, were only thirteen miles apart from one another.
Witnesses to the incidents described the events as being like a “war zone” with bullets whizzing by them, fortunate to have escaped with their lives.
The Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo also weighed in on the tragedy:
Mass shootings continue to occur on a regular basis across our country & yet elected officials only talk about the militarization of the police on the left and gun rights on the right. Gun violence is a public health epidemic our Nation needs to address.
America’s Gun Violence Epidemic
Mass shootings have been a problem in America and a difficult one to grapple with at that. On the one hand, they’re way too common, with 194 mass shootings happening within the first 18 weeks of this year, 2021. That means there’s been an average of 10 mass shootings per week in America every week for nearly the entire first half of 2021.
This is according to The Gun Violence Archive which defines a mass shooting as having more than four people shot in a single event.
On the other hand, gun rights are constitutionally enshrined, meaning that lawmakers have to get creative with ways they can try to curb these types of horrific events. And beyond that, they’re at a stalemate, with Republicans fearing that Democrats are out to take all of their guns, and some few Democrats actually wanting to take all of their guns, while others on each side prefer a more middle-ground approach.
Smart solutions proposed have been waiting periods for the purchasing of firearms, something that Republicans across the country have not only pushed back on but have moved intentionally in the opposite direction, with states like Texas passing brand new open carry legislation and other Republican states reducing the waiting period for obtaining a firearm.
A study conducted by Michael Luca, Deepak Malhotra, and Christopher Poliquin concluded that waiting periods reduce shootings by 17%. The study, titled Handgun waiting periods reduce gun deaths, stated:
Waiting period laws that delay the purchase of firearms by a few days reduce gun homicides by roughly 17%. Our results imply that the 17 states (including the District of Columbia) with waiting periods avoid roughly 750 gun homicides per year as a result of this policy. Expanding the waiting period policy to all other US states would prevent an additional 910 gun homicides per year without imposing any restrictions on who can own a gun.
It’s merely one of many possible proposed solutions, though we’re far from agreement on whether or not we want to implement these sorts of laws. Such laws would be a tough sell in the state of Florida.
It was only a couple of weeks ago the nation suffered another devastating mass shooting on the other side of the country, in San Diego, California.
All of this begs the question, for how long can we really allow this to go on? And what can be done to prevent such travesties?
What are the Solutions?
I sense there’s a balance to be struck. The 2nd amendment is constitutionally enshrined, so it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, so the question then becomes, how do we navigate these waters and find a happy port where gun violence is reduced to as near to zero as possible while still respecting the rights of constitutionally protected, responsible gun owners?
This is a tricky question. I often talk to friends from outside of the US and they all say the same thing, “Just take away the guns!” If only it was that simple. The question then becomes how exactly do we go about doing that? Do we send police with guns to go kick down everybody’s door and take their guns?
How do we trace the illegal guns? There are currently an estimated 250 million to 280 million illegal guns laying around in the United States; how do we find those and “take them?” It just seems like an extremely difficult problem to solve.
I honestly think it’s America’s most challenging problem, one that offers no easy answers that can be immediately implemented. Gun waiting times are a great starting point. A lot of these shooters bought their guns the same day as the shooting, like the Atlanta shooter, and the Colorado shooter bought his gun only 6 days before the attack carried out in Boulder.
Stiffer, universal background checks are another great place to start. That way, people can’t readily acquire firearms they intend to use for violence.
But talking to friends overseas, they make it sound so easy to just round up all the guns. But I highly doubt they have a party quite like our Republican Party, a party that’s curiously hellbent on what seems like assured destruction at every turn.
Between anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers, and people who won’t budge an inch on sensible gun legislation, they’re proving an extremely difficult bunch to work with — and it’s getting people killed.
At what point do we all stand back and take responsibility? These tragedies aren’t just news headlines, they’re real events with real consequences — real lives being lost; real families being shattered.