Learning from the tragedies of mass shootings


To the Editor:

May 12, Mother’s Day, a mass shooting occurred at a parade in New Orleans. Two brothers who had connections with a 7th ward street gang were captured after a four-day manhunt. Their crime was gunning down 20 people. Nineteen victims were shot and one was trampled during the panic. Mass shootings like this have become frighteningly more common. In the last decade there have been more mass shootings than the last three centuries combined. This increase has made the public more frightened and brought fear into a land of opportunities. Not only should this not happen in our society, but the government must take the necessary steps to keep these attacks under control. The government needs to place more protection on public events like these to prevent further tragedies.  

I was in Boston during the marathon bombing. I was leaving a Red Sox game when all of a sudden people started screaming and running away. Having experienced public tragedies like this, I know the depression and fear experienced when in one of these situations. The victims will always be affected, and their families will never be the same. I’m not saying events like this can be prevented, but they can be kept under control or avoided. If the government hardens their laws on terror and places public events under more security, then maybe the bombers would have been caught in the act before they set the bomb off.

The people of New Orleans who witnessed this shooting are terrified. No one should walk the streets scared with the protection the government supposedly offers. There should be no reason to be scared in everyday life, yet violence is increasing rapidly in today’s world. The government needs to make the necessary changes to security at functions like these to further protect innocent lives. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” (Gandhi) If the government can secure public events and keep the public safe, the change will happen.

One could argue if the government becomes too involved in protecting public events, who’s to say they won’t place more security on everyday life? These are all valid arguments that could come true. Power can always be abused and people will always have their motives to strike fear in the world. The only way for our country to come together and prevent these deaths is to use a balanced, fair system that can work for everyone. Sure, more security means increase in taxes, but kids like me should feel safe at events like these.

If the government utilizes the media, they can also improve the condition of the country. If we focus on the positives of a situation like this instead of announcing to everyone the tragedy, then people will know they can’t scare us. Part of the reason public attacks keep occurring is because the media publicizes the fear we experience, but they need to include what we learn from these attacks. New Orleans will now recover from this as a community and hopefully grow stronger. Their communities will most likely increase their security and make public situations safer. New Orleans can’t be the only one to make these improvements. If the government realizes the stress these tragedies cause, they will clamp down on big gatherings and give the people a new hope and sense of protection.

The fact that we can already find these men right after these events take place, like the manhunt in Boston and New Orleans, shows that our government is starting to improve its system of catching criminals. With increased protection at public events, our nation can rebuild and emotionally come back.

Garrett Steinberg

East Greenwich


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