Of the 50,000 or more violent deaths occurring in the United States each year, the overwhelming majority involve death by firearm. According to Center for Disease Control statistics, 30 firearm-related homicides and 53 firearm-related suicides take place each day and those statistics don't even include deaths occurring due to accidental shootings. Though the entire issue of gun safety in the United States continues to be a major source of controversy, both politically and socially, actual policies that can reduce gun deaths tend to be difficult to implement and even harder to enforce.
Whatever your stand happens to be regarding gun control, one thing that we can all agree on is that there are some people who simply cannot be trusted with guns. Virtually all of the recent tragic incidents which have taken place in recent years, including the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Colorado movie theatre, the Tuscon, Arizona constituents' meeting, and at Virginia Techs have certain common elements. They all involve mentally ill shooters using large-capacity firearms to kill as many people as possible before authorities could intervene. Many of these shooters also have a history of social isolation, emotional abuse, and often have a history of being bullied as well.
To read more, check out my new Psychology Today blog post.