The Causes of Gun Violence

The Causes of Gun Violence

Yes, we CAN address the causes of gun violence — once we admit what they are. So, in order to move the conversation along, I’ve prepared this list.

What Are The Causes of Gun Violence?

  • Belief you’re making a difference (DAESH, Taliban, Al-Queda, anti-abortion, anti-government, KKK, skinheads, neo-Nazis, etc). Roots: mass media – especially Fox News in the USA and equivalents in other countries, social media, conservative radio, extreme blogs and other websites, extreme versions of religious or political teachings.
  • Desire to strike back at those who bullied or belittled you or who harmed others unjustly. Roots: bullying; poor anger management; criminal gangs that require “street cred”; reaction to drones or overkill of military forces, to criminal acts, or to domestic violence.
  • Criminal acts such as robbery. Roots: poverty, racism, white supremacy, criminal character.
  • Domestic violence. Roots: sexism, male chauvinism, emotional abuse, threats by the other party, bad anger management.
  • Racial violence. Roots; racism, white supremacy, poverty, bad education.
  • Violence against gays. Roots: homophobia, extreme religion.
  • Violence against Muslims. Roots: mass media especially Fox News in the USA and equivalents in other countries, conservative radio, extreme blogs and other websites, social media, extreme forms of Christianity.
  • Violence by Muslims. Roots: extreme versions of Islam, extreme radio/websites/social media, drones and other military strikes that kill innocents, support of Israel by Western nations.
  • Violence by those with Mental illness. Roots: mental illness.
  • Violence against yourself, including attempted or actual suicide. Roots: many.

All of these are types of violence. What makes them gun violence is the perp used a gun. What makes gun violence so pervasive in the USA is:

All those people who refuse to do anything about guns until we address “the other issues” AND who are willing to actually work on fixing all these causes, please raise your hands and get to work.

Okay, now that we have NOT seen a rush to tackle those issues, let’s stop changing the subject and deal with the one tool that makes violence many times more deadly — guns.

Most other developed or Western countries rarely have mass shootings (4 or more people shot in one spree) and this is why there is a hue and cry to do something about the guns here in the USA, because you don’t have gun violence without guns. The presence of a fire arm escalates the violence. The absence of one makes it harder to escalate beyond a certain level.

(See Debunking Five Myths about Gun Control)

I’m not saying no guns equals no violence, as that would be absurd. I AM saying the absence of guns limits the deadliness of the violence in more cases than not.

I’m also not saying that there should be no guns in the hands of private citizens.

I AM saying that there should be real, meaningful, substantive discussions held and decisions made and actions taken at the federal level to reduce the number of guns in circulation. That is the only way to reduce gun violence while we work on fixing all these other problems.



About Tim Gatewood

55+, male, widowed. Mobile Notary Public and Signing Agent, Freelance Writer, and Ordained Minister. Willing servant to cats. Science fiction and fantasy fan, avid reader, Founder of the Darrell Awards. Author of _Getting Started As A Notary Signing Agent_ (available from Please be kind to one another.
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One Response to The Causes of Gun Violence

  1. Tim Gatewood says:

    I wrote and published this years ago, yet I’m still seeing people trot out the whataboutism argument of multiple causes that must be fixed before we deal with guns.

    The multiple causes of gun violence and death exist in every society on the planet, yet the entire world except the USA only had 18 school shootings in the past 20 years and the USA has had that many just this year. Clearly, the existence of so many guns here is the major fact which must be dealt with.

    Postponing that because there are multiple causes of the violence guarantees that there will be more mass shootings.

    We obviously have no strong desire to fix those multiple causes, so how about we stop using them as an excuse for avoiding what the rest of the developed world has already done and put some sane restrictions on ownership of guns?

    (Comment posted Thurs 2-15-18 in the wake of yet another school shooting)


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