Mass Shootings – Is Your Town At Risk?

With the crazy number of mass shootings that have happened in America over the last few decades, lots of people are looking for answers. Why are mass shootings occurring so much in America? I had the idea that maybe these shootings have something to do with the way a town was built. When I say built I’m talking about how it came to be a town, not the buildings in the town – how a town is established, if you will – and whether or not violent beginnings of a town make the area more likely to experience mass shootings centuries later.

To find out if my theory was right, I looked at four locations where mass shootings have happened. Littleton, Colorado, Aurora, Colorado, Charleston, South Carolina, and Lafayette, Louisiana are all places in the United States where these type of shootings have occurred. Aurora and Lafayette were both shootings that took place in a movie theater, Littleton was a school shooting, and Charleston took place in a church.

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Actress Amy Schumer in tears during a press conference shortly after the Lafayette theater shooting which took place in a theater showing her movie, Trainwreck – photo from BBC.com

 What I found when I looked at each of these cities was that Littleton and Lafayette did have pretty violent foundings but Charleston and Aurora did not. Littleton had a lot of fights between Native American indians and the settlers or Littleton that happened and Lafayette had a bunch of fights between its own citizens as well. Aurora was in debt and Charleston had been completely peaceful when they were started. Even though Aurora and Charleston didn’t have violent establishments, from the little information I could find on the two cities, they both still experienced a mass shooting each within the last five years.

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A crime scene photo from the Aurora Theater shooting – photo from nydailynews.com

Because of what I found, that two locations were founded violently and two were not, I decided that it wouldn’t be fair to say that a violent beginning automatically puts a location at higher risk for mass shootings. After all, two areas had nonviolent establishments and still had mass shootings happen there. To answer the question asked in the title of this blog – as far as I was able to tell, your town is not at any higher risk of going through a mass shooting if the town had a violent founding than if it had had a peaceful founding.

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Citizens of Charleston, SC grieving together after the Charleston church shooting – photo from newyorker.com

I think it’s a good idea, for anybody that’s interested, to do more research on places that mass shootings have happened in the United States (for example, Sandy Hook, Connecticut, Colorado Springs, Colorado, or even San Bernardino, California). Investigating four places just was not enough to get sufficient information for making a conclusion about a relationship between mass shootings and violent establishments. I believe that either myself or someone else, who cares about mass shootings and will pursue a way of explaining why they happen, needs to do further research into the founding of Charleston as well as Aurora because I was unable to find very much from my first few searches. More research is needed for different locations as well. Additional locations lead to new information and new information can lead to possible explanations and, therefore, solutions for the problem of mass shootings.