2020 was the worst year for gun violence and nobody noticed

2020 was the worst year for gun violence and nobody noticed

As gun control reaches the breaking point, a continuous effort is necessary for change Ezra Bitterman is a freshman journalism major at MU. He is an opinion columnist who writes about elections and societal observations for The Maneater. “Kind, polite, thoughtful”; that’s what Olivia King was known for. She died in the Collierville grocery store shooting last month. A pandemic, racial upheaval and a contentious election define the past 18 months. For many — including myself — gun violence fell out of view. In the chaos, stories like Olivia King’s were not told, allowing for what was already a plague on our society to reach a boiling point. The gun control debate needs to be proactive and consistent so we can get ahead of the next act of senseless violence. 2020 was the worst year for gun violence in over two decades. Guns killed almost 20,000 people. Part of the problem is the outsized impact of mass shootings, which are not easily defined. For example, Mother Jones claimed there were ten mass shootings in 2019, while the Gun Violence Archive claimed there were 418. Mother Jones narrows mass shootings to events in public with three fatalities not affiliated with domestic or gang violence. In contrast, the Gun Violence Archive defines any shooting with four people fatally or non-fatally injured. Vague definitions surrounding shootings provide the public with a confusing narrative. But it shouldn’t matter; 20,000 deaths are 20,000 lives lost. Public mass shootings play a disproportionate role in how […]

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