The definition of a shootout is: “A gunfight that must end in defeat for one side or the other”. The definition captures the essence of something as tragic as a shootout while not indicating, in any way, the emotional trauma associated with it. Shootouts have become a common phenomenon in the USA. This is because of the ease with which a citizen can obtain a firearm.

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Recent Event

On June 12, 2016, a man with an assault rifle opened fire in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. On December 2, 2015, a heavily armed couple shot 14 people in San Bernardino, California. On June 17, 2015, a 21-year old killed nine people at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina. On December 14, 2012, a young man stormed an elementary school in Newton, Connecticut and killed 20 children and 6 staff members. America’s battle with gun control has been going on for years and these are just a few examples of shootouts that resulted in a horrific loss of life.

The Mental Health Perspective

America is the scion of developed nations/first world countries, and yet mental health care facilities are lacking. The discussion surrounding mental health comes up with each incident of this kind. Adam Lanza, Dylan Storm, and countless other shooters have been found to suffer from some sort of mental illness. Lack of support, taboo surrounding the topic and lack of access to mental health care subsequently puts such people in a state of mind where shooting someone is acceptable.

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Shootouts As A Result Of Intolerance 

The shootout in Orlando was because of the shooter’s intolerance towards the LGBTQ community. Some shooters are intolerant toward African-Americans, and yet some are intolerant towards those of South Asian origins (Wisconsin Gurdwara, 2012). How is it possible to live in a civilized society when the best way to end a debate is by shooting someone?

The Political Situation

Everyone reading the news will be aware of the upcoming presidential elections in America. It is an understatement to say that the reactions of the candidates to this tragedy will affect their voters. Donald Trump, the Republican nominee thought it prudent to thank himself for being right about extremism, adding fuel to the fire.

Debate About Background Check

The everyday life of an average American is devoid of chaos. But such incidents shake them to the core, leaving disbelief and grief in its wake. Communities grapple to deal with the incident, especially if the shooter was one of their own.

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As a result, gun control has been constantly debated in the US Congress. To avoid shootouts in the future, background checks, a stricter law about purchasing guns and limiting civilian access to assault weapons should be put into action.

Shootouts leave in their wake families torn apart and looking for answers. While people debate gun control, other people purchase firearms to kill. These incidents are a combination of multiple factors. The high prevalence of shootouts will hopefully spur the leaders of the country into action. Furthermore, it might motivate them to put into effect gun control laws.

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