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As Shootings Increase, People Start to Question the Role of Parents in Them
By: Matt Zhang
These days in the United States of America, it is common to hear of shootings that result in many injuries and even some fatalities. They can occur in parks, restaurants, and even schools. The rapid rise of mass shootings is occurring all over the USA without any sign of slowing down.
“It’s terrifying enough to think you might be the victim of some random piece of violence,” said Andrew Solomon, an author who interviewed the parents of the gunmen who attacked Columbine High School in 1999 and Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012.
Interestingly enough, many signs may warn people of shootings before they occur. For example, the Nashville Waffle House gunman in 2018 had been treated for mental health problems and lost his right to wield a gun before the shooting had occurred. So, he transferred the weapon to his father who then returned the gun to his son when his son was moving away. His son later used it in a mass shooting incident in a restaurant. In the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012, state officials in Connecticut reported that many medical experts asked the 20-year-old shooter’s mother to have her son get medical treatment for years but she refused and even gave him access to his gun as his mental health continued to deteriorate. In the end, it resulted in one of the worst mass shootings in USA history where 28 fatalities occurred including 20 kids, 6 adults, his mother, and himself. Both of these incidents could have been avoided with the right attention to the warning signs and proper treatment. Sadly, the police and medical experts cannot force people to get treatment unless there is no other option to help the patient and they are a danger to themselves and others.
“Unless and until they are willing to do that, there is no way that authorities can step in and assist and perhaps prevent a tragedy.” States Kevin Johnson, a prosecutor in the Waffle House Shooting case.
There are many other cases like Columbine High School in 1999 and Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 where the child gave clear signs of mental deterioration and should not have had access to the guns or weapons their parents owned. If proper care and attention was given, many of these shootings would have never occurred.