Looking For Motives After US Mass Shootings

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Ken Bredemeier and Fern Robinson from the Voice of America analyse the aftermath and causes of the weekend’s double shooting in Texas and Ohio.

The latest shootings came a week after a gunman killed three at a food festival in California and followed the killing of 58 at a country music festival in 2017 in California, 49 at an Orlando, Fla., nightclub in 2016 and 25 at a Texas church in 2017.

Walmart said Sunday it will continue to sell guns and ammunition in its stores despite the El Paso shooting and another deadly shooting just days earlier at one of its stores in Mississippi that ended with two workers killed and a police officer wounded.

Aftermath of mass shooting at Walmart in El Paso, Texas
Women light candles at a make shift memorial at the site of a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, US. (EPA-EFE/LARRY W. SMITH

Bredemeier and Robinson write that U.S. authorities occasionally try to figure out ways to stop the slaughter of innocents in a country where gun ownership is enshrined as a constitutional right. Some lawmakers have attempted to curb gun ownership or stiffen the regulations surrounding gun sales but have generally been rebuffed by other lawmakers opposed to new restrictions.

They quote Angelica Sala, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights saying, “Even when Donald Trump is out of office, the white nationalism he has unleashed will likely persist and require action to stop it.”

Aftermath of Dayton mass shooting
A handout photo made available by the Dayton Police Department shows the Anderson Manufacturing AM-15 rifle with a 100-round double drum magazine which Connor Betts, who they identified as the gunman, used as he was shot and killed seconds after he began killing people outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio, USA. (EPA-EFE/DAYTON POLICE DEPARTMENT )

Anthony Zurcher, the North America reporter for the BBC, writes on whether this time things will be different after the familiar refrain after every mass shooting in the US.

Among gun control activists, there is a certain amount of resignation whenever a new incident splashes across the headlines. If public sentiment did not force action after the 2012 Newtown shooting, when 26 people – including 20 young children – were killed in a Connecticut school, then nothing will ever change.

But Zurcher adds that the double tragedy of El Paso and Dayton may end up being different, however, and examines the few possible explanations why this can happen.

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