Mass Shootings in America in April

by Adair Edwards ‘22

Gun violence has been on the rise in our country, with innocent civilians injured or killed at the hands of someone they may not even know. Senseless violence has taken the lives of 41 people in April alone, and considering we are only 19 days into the month, those averages are staggering. The last two weeks have shown the greatest tragedies, with a mass shooting in Indianapolis killing nine people and injuring seven, while a shooting the week before in South Carolina killed seven. The violence is spread out across the country and often the killer has little to no association with their victims. On April 15, a nineteen year old man took the lives of eight innocent people and injured seven before taking his own life at a FedEx distribution center in Indianapolis, Indiana. The man used a semi-automatic weapon, creating havoc within moments, with no known motive. The week before, a former NFL player killed six family members before turning the gun on himself; again, with no known motive. Both shootings were horrific, unexpected, and life altering. Family members are reeling from the loss of loved ones, futures are rewritten, but the violence continues. These are just two out of the thirty five confirmed mass shootings in April. The first shooting of the month took place on April 3rd and had six casualties in Allen, Texas. 

Kenosha, Wisconsin, a city already dealing with tons of media attention after the killing of Jacob Blake and subsequent protest shooting involving a teenager, saw tragedy again this past weekend. Three died and another three were injured in a bar shooting though the story is still vague with only one arrest so far. It seems as though there is no safe place as the locations of shootings in our country leave little untouched by violence. This past March, Boulder, Colorado saw a mass shooting at a local grocery store, killing ten people. The shooter, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa was charged with ten counts of first degree murder after targeting innocent lives while they stocked up on groceries. The investigation is still ongoing, though again, there is no known motive aside for a man that was prone to angry outbursts. Alissa’s brother described him as mentally ill with bouts of paranoia. Anyone knowing the gruesome details would have to believe that a person willing to take lives in a grocery store in one of the calmest areas of the nation, would have to be mentally ill. Only six days before this, a man targeted massage parlors in Georgia, killing eight people between three different spas. He moved from one business to the next, opening fire at the first people he saw, while not knowing any of them. Again, the only motive known deals with mental illness. 

President Biden has reached out to the country throughout this violence, promising for change in the future. Gun control laws are inevitable, though fiercely debated. Mass shootings are not new in our country, instead being considered a vicious norm. Students in schools everywhere have learned what to do in an active shooter situation, with drills and extensive teacher training. School shootings started before the 21st century and brought temporary changes such as increased security and metal detectors, though almost fifteen years later twenty six people lost their lives in Sandy Hook, Connecticut including twenty children. In one day, twenty six sets of parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings lost a loved one to senseless violence. President Biden is calling for a change that many before him have fought for. Our country needs to unite in order to save the lives of innocent people, children and adults alike. We should be able to receive an education or shop for orange juice with a feeling of safety. It is time to rid our country of the senseless violence by taking away the tools that those with mental health issues use to take innocent lives.