Mass Shootings Happen Because We Tolerate Them

Our culture is the problem

Barry Davret
5 min readMay 28, 2022


Licensed from Shutterstock // Maroke

With each incidence of mass shootings, we inch closer to the point where our country breaks beyond our ability to repair. After Sandy Hook, we did nothing. After Parkland, we did nothing. And now, in the wake of shootings in Buffalo and Texas, we will again do nothing.

Yes, we’ve barrage Tweeted about our anger and grievance, sent thoughts and prayers, and spouted meaningless platitudes about the need for addressing mental health problems. In time, we may even propose legislation to reauthorize the assault weapons ban, limit magazine capacity, raise the age of gun ownership to 21, or make it harder for dangerous individuals to acquire weapons.

Let’s face it. Nothing will change. You know it, don’t you? Nothing will change because too many of us have accepted mass shootings as the price to pay for unfettered access to guns. It may not be a majority of us, but it’s enough to create gridlock whenever sensible gun legislation hits the floor of Congress.

Gun violence exists because we have decided, as a society, to tolerate it. Gun violence exists because we have collectively accepted that unfettered access to guns matters more than the lives of our children. It exists because we elect people who care more about preserving the filibuster than they do about passing legislation to limit access to deadly weapons. It exists because most of us prioritize other issues over gun regulation. Sure, today, we claim it’s our most pressing issue, but two weeks from now, we’ll go back to worrying about the prices of gas and groceries. That’s how numb we’ve become to gun violence.

Legislators in both parties worry about appearing too aggressive with gun regulations out of fear the NRA will run an ad claiming that Congressman <insert name> wants to take your guns away. That’s how sick we’ve become as a country. Try running on a platform of gun proliferation in any other country, and see how many votes it wins you. Why does it work here?

The culture is the problem.

We live in a culture that equates gun regulation to an attack on freedom. We favor legislators who appoint judges that cling to an arbitrary interpretation of the second amendment, even though…



Barry Davret

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