As gun violence continues, we ask: How many more?


The Crusader Staff, Staff Editorial

On Lunar New Year’s Eve, a 72-year-old gunman named Huu Can Tran opened fire on Star Ballroom Dance Studio located in Monterey Park and killed 11 Asian Americans while wounding nine others. 

Two days later, a 66-year-old gunman named Chunlin Zhao opened fire on two mushroom farms located in Half Moon Bay and killed seven people while wounding one other. 

On Valentine’s Day eve, a 43-year-old gunman named Anthony Dwayne McRae opened fire on Michigan State University and killed three people while wounding five others. 

Two days later a gunman opened fire on an El Paso shopping mall and killed one person while injuring three others. As of press time, two suspects have been arrested. 

Another two days later, a 52-year-old gunman named Richard Dale Crum opened fire in a shooting rampage located in Tate County, Mississippi and killed six people including his ex-wife.  

When The Crusader was planning stories for this issue, we were only meant to be writing an article about the two California shootings that tore apart the Asian American community during a holiday meant to symbolize luck and joy for Asian cultures. 

It is a testament to America’s gun problem that another three shootings were carried out while editing that finished article, as we scramble to update our story while impacted communities scramble for justice. 

We’re not even two months into 2023, and there have been more than 70 mass shootings within those days. Research from the Gun Violence Archive shows that the number of mass shootings has gone up significantly in recent years. In fact, the last three years have yielded more than 600 mass shootings. That’s nearly two a day on average. 

We are in a place where gun violence is simply normal, to the point where most mass shootings (and that’s just the mass shootings, defined by the Gun Violence Archive as a shooting that has killed four or more people) aren’t even covered. It’s standard. Routine. Another one. What’s new? 

America has officially run out of words to comment on this devastating problem. Consolation rings empty, especially when the phrases are familiar. The words “sick and tired” or “enough is enough” has been repeated verbatim thousands of times. We are sick and tired of being sick and tired. 

After each shooting inevitably comes calls for gun control and inevitably comes the defensive claim of the Second Amendment. While the Second Amendment certainly makes sense given the context of when the Bill of Rights was written, in our modern society a “well regulated militia” is not nearly as necessary. As gun owners squawk about the right to bear arms, students are wondering about the right to not get shot in school. 

Gun violence took the lives of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde (as well as the countless ones before them). This was the impetus for Congress to finally pass a gun control bill that, according to Pew Research Center, nearly 80 percent of Americans don’t believe will achieve much. It is truly indicative of America that this bill is hailed as “historic.” 

If it takes that many deaths for Congress to finally take a tiny step towards proper gun control, then America is faced with the question: how many more? 

How many more people have to die for Congress to pass truly comprehensive gun regulation? 

How many more communities have to be destroyed for politicians to care?

How many more families have to buy a kid-sized coffin for their child? 

How many more “thoughts and prayers?” 

How many more? 

But with the NRA funneling tens of millions of dollars to Congress; with gun sales skyrocketing after mass shootings; with a multi-billion dollar firearms industry; with at least 20 percent of Congress members confirming to own a gun, the answer seems clear: 

A whole lot more.