Can Cultural Shift Help Prevent Mass Shootings?

The school shooting in Florida is a horrific tragedy by any standard. Unfortunately, mass shootings have been a staple in America for a long time. In the aftermath of these events, there are the inevitable questions of why they occur and how to prevent them in the future. There is always the knee-jerk reaction for better gun control as the main focus. Of course, gun control should be high on the list of preventive measures, but should not stop there. Americans seem to forget that the two most horrific mass killings in their history occurred without the use of firearms: the 9-11 twin tower attacks using airliners, and the Oklahoma bombing using a truck laden with fertilizer and fuel oil. So many other attacks in America and the rest of the world were carried out using knives, explosives, vehicles, biological agents, bombs, rockets etc.

The main problem is not guns, but culture. When people are determined to kill other people, where there’s a will there’s a way, even without guns. Israel is a good example. Because of the constant assault on its citizens by terrorists, so many Israelis carry weapons, even openly. Despite this, mass shootings by Israelis are virtually unknown. This is because they are taught that these weapons are for the purpose of preventing mass murders, not committing them.

Max Wisotsky

Highland Park