The Killing Spree

Since 1982, there have been 72 mass shootings across the country from Massachusetts to Hawaii. The perpetrators are mostly white males; mentally unstable or displayed varied mental health problems; a loner; seemed to have difficulty establishing relationships with the opposite sex and maintain an unusual bond with their mothers. Maybe, the mom’s nurturing is mere coincidence or no link at all to the reason these men without girlfriends are more likely to kill indiscriminately.

A lot of men, however, with spouses and girlfriends, and arm with an arsenal of big guns prefer to go hunting. The thrill of bagging a wild beast apparently satisfy the lust to kill defenseless animals instead of people. In the world of trophy hunting, where wealth élite hunters travel across the world to lure endangered animals to shoot them – just to mount them on their living room walls. MSNBC aired a documentary, Blood Lions, that offered a glimpse into captive or canned hunting, where animals mostly lions, bred for the only purpose being shot at in a fenced area where the animals have no opportunity to escape, for a guaranteed kill. Most people would agree that this is not a sport.

It is sad to see the once regal “king of the jungle’ relegated to a second class existence, not a ruler in his domain but a captive in his kingdom.

Now bullfighting is a popular sporting event in Spain, where the bull’s death is a little more humanely and becomes a meal at the end. This show is a deadly dance between the matador and a bull with at least a 50% chance of survival. The matador must prove his courage and artistry, with one wrong move his ‘cojones’ could be on the menu of local restaurant’s fare.

What is the cost of gun violence in America? The Mother Jones May/June 2015 magazine special investigation report estimates that it cost the taxpayers $229 Billion, about $700 per American a year. There is no definite assessment of the cost of victims who survived as paraplegic; deformed and disfigured with mounting hospital bills, the many hours of physical therapy, trauma counseling, in-home care and lost of income.

Even as violent crime has decreased in recent years, the rate of gun injury and death and mass shooting are on the rise. Nobody doubts that gun violence is a serious problem, except the NRA, and is now a public health crisis. In a country where statistics and data accumulation is prevalent on every citizen, the NRA and gun rights activists successfully blocked research on the economic cost of gun violence and put pressure political leaders to stop research related to firearms.

Here are some facts that are quite alarming. Louisiana has the highest gun homicide rate in the nation. Wyoming has a small population but the highest overall rate of gun deaths – including highest suicide rate. California, New York, Massachusetts and Hawaii have the lowest gun death rates due to low gun ownership rates and tight gun laws. Florida and Texas outpaced all other States.

Preventing violence is our homes, schools and neighborhood is our country’s most difficult undertaking. Violence is preventable, not inevitable.

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