Commentary: Frequent mass shootings cutting deep scars into U.S. society

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-04 22:07:36|Editor: Shi Yinglun
Video PlayerClose

by Xinhua writers Wang Bowen, Zhong Ya

BEIJING, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Mass shootings, which have become chillingly common nationwide in the United States, are once again unveiling many deep scars, new and old, in American society.

At least 20 people were killed amid back-to-school shopping in El Paso in western Texas.

Hours after Texas massacre, police confirmed that nine people have been killed and at least 16 more have been hospitalized with injuries in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio.

In less than 10 days, shootings have occurred in South Haven of Mississippi, in Gilroy of California, and in Brooklyn of New York, taking lives of dozens of innocent people.

All over the world, people are looking at the United States and wondering what is going on? Why time after time, America is seeing indescribable horror?

Again, frequent mass shootings are displaying the inconvenient truth in American society, with gun control being on top of the list.

Gun violence, especially mass shootings, is such a highly-visited subject that sparks nationwide and even worldwide discussion after each tragedy but would be left to dust when things return to normal.

In the United States, the issue of gun use is deeply intertwined with group interests and motions towards stricter gun control are largely silenced by powerful parties and blocs. Public opinion appears to be of little significance in front of interest groups.

Therefore, the discussion of gun control in the United States has been formalistic, without any progress to push the country to a safer situation so people can feel much relieved.

The reasons behind a growing number of social problems in the United States are also resulting in a gun abuse environment.

For instance, the income gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen. Social conflicts become more acute. The society tends to go progressively fragmented, and some groups are increasingly being marginalized. All these factors may cause psychological problems of certain people and eventually take a toll on the American society in the form of different violence including mass shootings.

According to a report released by the U.S. Secret Service recently, in their lives in the five years preceding the attack, most attackers had at least one significant stressor, such as divorce, losing a job and homelessness. The report demonstrated that social problems are the most significant cause of shootings in the Unites States.

It is still under investigation whether the attacker in Saturday's shooting in Texas was motivated by racial hatred. U.S. media quoted the police as saying that the shooting is related to "a possible hate crime." According to other media reports, the gunman published a manifesto which revealed his white supremacy.

Even though the authenticity of relevant information is still to be confirmed, rising racism and increasing conflicts between different ethnic groups are part of reality of the U.S. society as well as causes of many mass shootings.

For instance, both of the attackers of shootings at a Jewish community center in south California in April and a Jewish church in Petersburg in October 2018 are white, who were reported to be anti-Jewish.

All the above indicated that the U.S. society is haunted with dissatisfaction and hatred. The increasing phenomenon of "shooting due to the slightest discontent" is worrying the U.S. people.

Can heavy gunfire and loss of innocent lives stimulate the authority to face and solve various problems faced by the U.S. society?

What is certain is that the gunfire in Texas won't be the last one, if the U.S. government fails to solve social problems and turn a blind eye to expanding social divergence and violence. Enditem