In 2015, radical Islamist terrorists (one American, one Pakistani) killed 14 people and injured 22 people in a shooting in San Bernardino, California. This attack was designated a terrorist attack. 

In 2016, an American gunman killed at least 49 people and injured 50 at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. This shooting was designated a hate crime. 

In 2017, a white American man killed 58 people and injured 422 people at a concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. This was designated a mass shooting, and the perpetrator was deemed mentally ill (no motive was found). 

In 2018, two school shootings rocked the country again, the biggest since the 2012 Sandy Hook shootings. In February, a young white American man killed 17 people at Stoneman Marjory Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, inspiring students around the country to form the March for our Lives movement. The perpetrator was deemed mentally ill, and this attack was designated a mass shooting. In May, 10 people were killed by a young American man (with legally obtained guns) at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

In 2018, there were also two other major shootings. In October, a white American man killed 11 people and injured 6 at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with legally obtained guns. This attack, the largest in history on the Jewish community in America, was designated a hate crime. In November that year, a white American man (and former Marine) killed 12 people at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, with legally obtained guns. The perpetrator was deemed mentally ill, and this attack was designated a mass shooting. 

In 2019 so far, there have been 251 mass shootings in which at least three people have been killed or injured. At least three of these shootings have killed or injured at least 18 people:

On May 31, a white man killed 13 people and injured 5 in Virginia Beach, Virginia with legally obtained guns. 

On August 4, just yesterday, we witnessed two tragic shootings. The first in El Paso, Texas, and the second in Dayton, Ohio. In El Paso, a 21-year-old white man killed at least 20 people and injured 26 with legally obtained guns. This man published his manifesto, and it is filled with racist, anti-immigration, white supremacist, and hateful rhetoric. In Dayton, a young white man killed 9 people and injured another 16. Hopefully, the injured from these shootings do not end up added to the already too-high death tolls. 

What do all of these shootings have in common?? They were all committed by American men. Most of these were committed by young white American men. And only one (don’t forget the hundreds of shootings NOT in this list) was committed by radical Islamist terrorists. Even then, one of those shooters was still an American. 

Enough is enough. It is time for our county to face the truth that each mass shooting is an act of domestic terrorism. An attack by Americans on Americans on American soil with legal American guns must no longer be called just a “hate crime,” and mental illness must not be used as an excuse. An act of violence on this scale is an act of domestic terrorism, and as you can see, the frequent mass shootings by white Americans with legally obtained guns have been much more deadly than the token instance of a shooting by a radical Islamist agent. 

Enough. Is. Enough. We have failed to act for far too long. It is time to put an end to these acts of domestic terrorism, filled with hate. Innocent people are dying because of legally obtained guns in the hands of hateful, violent people. We must act now to put an end to this violence, for all who have perished, all who have survived, and all who have witnessed (in life and on television) the tragic and heartbreaking mass shootings that have become only more frequent over the past few years. Mass shootings should not be common on the news, and it should not be normal for us to see shooting after shooting and just move on with our lives. School children should not have to practice active shooter drills. Kids should not feel unsafe going to school for fear that they will be the next statistic on school shootings. It is up to us, for the sake of our parents, ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren, to see that this frightening trend does not continue. 

Enough is enough. It’s time to be better, and it’s time to bring change.

Mass Shootings by Country in 2019

🇦🇹 0                          🇩🇰 0

🇫🇮 0                          🇩🇪 0

🇮🇹 0                          🇮🇪 0

🇱🇺 0                          🇨🇭 0

🇬🇧 0                          🇭🇺 0

🇪🇸 0                          🇵🇹 0

🇸🇬 0                          🇸🇦 0

🇧🇪 0                          🇸🇪 0

🇦🇺 0                          🇫🇷 0

🇳🇿 1                           🇳🇱 1

🇧🇷 1                           🇨🇦 1

🇲🇽 3                          🇺🇸 251

One of these things is not like the others…

Written by CeaseFirePA intern Sydney Eisenberg