It is all too common to see that a place of mass gathering, such as a school, movie theatre, or even a military installation, has fallen victim to a mass shooting. There have been many mass shootings that have affected multiple places throughout our country. Some of the most notable include: Through them all there have been many positive effects of an otherwise negative event.
Along with the positive effects though, there are of course many negative effects of the mass shootings in America. Mass shootings are unfortunately becoming a more and more common in America today. The April shooting at Columbine High School seems to have brought mass shootings into the limelight. This was mostly because of the tragic outcome.
Columbine students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 fellow students and 1 teacher, then shot themselves, in their rampage through the school. The mass shootings of today have evolved and multiplied in numbers. The Virginia Tech campus fell victim of a mass shooting April of when a student opened fire killing 32 fellow students.
In July of James Holmes entered a Colorado movie theatre and opened fire killing 12 moviegoers. Sandy Hook Elementary school was targeted in December of when Adam Lanza entered the school and killed 20 children and 6 adults. Most people think military bases are some of the safest, most secure, places in the country.
However, these too have fallen victim to mass shootings. Major Nadal Hassan killed 13 fellow soldiers before he was stopped by base police in November of Most recently, September of a government contractor killed 12 people inside the Washington Navy Yard. No place is sacred. Through all of the tragedy that that mass shootings have caused in America there have been some positive effects that have come to light.
Along with the research into mental illness, the unfortunate uprising of mass shootings in America has led to first responders, such as police, SWAT, EMS, and Firefighters, to better their response tactics over time. This ultimately may have led to the large number of casualties. They are also better equipped. This has been linked to a decline in casualties in mass shooting incidents. Along with the positive effects of mass shootings in America there are undoubtedly multiple negative effects of mass shootings.
Undeniably the saddest negative effect of mass shootings in America has been the countless lives that have been cut short. Of course, the end of the formal institution of slavery did not imply the end of racism as such within the United States. Over the course of the next century, systematic discrimination against black people remained the norm within the nation.
It would be fair to suggest that real progress as opposed to merely formal progress was not in fact made until the s and the civil rights movement, a full century after the events of the Civil War. For example, segregation of schools on a racial basis was commonplace, and it was not until the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education in that this practice was legally abolished. Likewise, Martin Luther King, Jr. One implication of this recent history is that middle-aged black people today were born into a racist society that was just in the process of making meaningful changes, and elderly black people today would have direct memories of how the United States used to be before the civil rights movement.
In this context, it would be absurd to conclude that racism in the United States is a thing of the past, insofar as there are still people alive today who can vividly remember it. Moreover, it is worth pointing out that there still remains a great deal of work to be done. As touched on in a previous blog post from Ultius , impoverished neighborhoods within inner city settings often have highly disproportionate concentrations of black people.
There is surely a connection between this present-day situation of the black population on the one hand and the history of the black population within the United States on the other: Members of the black population would seem to still experience difficulties with becoming full participants in the institutions of American society. For examples, the black population is generally less educated than the white population; and as Richardson and Norris have indicated, they also have compromised access to the national healthcare system relative to the white population.
The historical disparities between white people and black people thus continue to impact the real lives of Americans in the present day. Given this historical context, it becomes far easier to understand the sociological dynamics surrounding the Ferguson shooting and increased racism in America. For example, one could ask: Why is a community that is composed predominantly of blacks policed by a force that is composed predominantly of whites?
Phrased in this way, one realizes that this present-day dynamic within the Ferguson community mirrors the unequal power relations between blacks and whites that prevailed under the institution of slavery: Likewise, as Sanchez has indicated:.
They drew parallels to a time of public hangings, when mobs killed blacks, sometimes for perceived infractions such as stealing, and left the bodies in public to sow fears" paragraph Of course, these are only analogies, and they must not be taken in an overly literal way. However, the point remains that in the eyes of the many people within the modern United States, the Ferguson shooting, and its aftermath, seemed to be a direct transposition of the power relations of the past into a present-day context.
This historical memory would seem to be the primary force that has granted the Ferguson shooting such an emblematic status within the nation and catalyzed such bitterness within the Ferguson community and beyond.
The United States would clearly like to believe that racism is a thing of the past and that it has overcome the darkness that marred its beginnings as a nation. However, this self-image exists in constant tension with the structural racial disparities that obviously continue to exist within American society even in an age when a black man can be the president ; and when an event such as the Ferguson shooting occurs, it is as though the darkness of history irrupts into the present. This severely compromises the nation's present-day image of itself.
Surely, even modern-day black people in the United States would like to believe that racism is a thing of the past; and a good deal of the bitterness and rage that surrounds events like the Ferguson shooting may well be the result of blacks in particular and Americans, in general, having to witness concrete evidence of how long of a way the nation still has to go with respect to the problem of racism. In summary, this expository essay has consisted of a discussion of the history and significance of the Ferguson shooting.
In order to truly understand the meaning of the event, it is necessary to view it within the context of the problems that the United States has had with racism since its very beginnings as a nation. A great deal of progress has surely been made in this regard over time, including the abolition of slavery with the Civil War and the civil rights movement a century later. However, events like the Ferguson shooting reveal that racism is still very much a thing of the present.
Without the historical context, the Ferguson shooting would seem like an isolated event, and the level of anger surrounding it would be inexplicable. As it stands, though, the event becomes emblematic of the ongoing problem of racism within the United States. Board of Education of Topeka.
Legal Information Institute, King, Martin Luther, Jr. National Archives and Records Administration, How Race and Ethnicity Matter. Cornell University Law School, Ultius Blog, 16 Dec. Click here for more help with MLA citations. Sample Essay on the Ferguson Shooting. Click here for more help with APA citations. Click here for more help with CMS citations. Click here for more help with Turabian citations. Ultius is the trusted provider of content solutions and matches customers with highly qualified writers for sample writing, academic editing, and business writing.
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America witnessed police shootings of young, black men recently. This essay explores Michael Brown’s shooting death by a white police officer in Ferguson.5/5(2).
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