Mental Health and Guns : What We Must Learn From Texas School, Buffalo Supermarket and Series of Shootings

Last Updated: January 01, 2023

Mental Health and Guns : What We Must Learn From Texas School, Buffalo Supermarket and Series of Shootings

Texas school shooting: raising concerns on mental health

The Texas school shooting on 24th May 2023 is the biggest mass shooting reported in the year. Just 10 days after the Buffalo shooting, this has left people questioning their safety against gun violence. Both of the shootings have raised growing concerns about the mental health issues on teenagers as both of the suspects were just 18 year old high school students.

The Texas shooting with 21 casualties including 19 children and 2 teachers and the Buffalo shooting with 13 casualties including 11 black people and 2 white people are one of the largest mass shootings in the history of the US.

Reasons behind the Texas shooting

Salvador Ramos, the suspect of the Texas school shooting was reportedly a high school dropout living with his grandparents after getting in an argument with his mother over the Wi-Fi. The 18-year-old student was apparently angry about not being able to graduate the following spring and later shot his grandmother in a fit of rage over telephone bills. He later took his grandmother's ride and stopped by the elementary school fully armed and started his rampage with no regard to his human life. He was later shot dead by an officer while isolating himself in a classroom for about an hour after killing 21 people. The actual motive of this shooting is still yet to be determined but it is safe to say that it is related to his mental health issues.

Even though Salvador was never clinically diagnosed with any mental health issues, he is said to have spent most of his time alone in his room and never really talked to anyone else, which may have been a sign of depression or any unresolved issues from his childhood. Some people have come forward saying that he was after bullied in his childhood for the way he spoke(lisping), dressed and was even called with gay slurs. While other people have said that he was rather the bully himself, getting involved in fights, insulting his classmates and being extremely rude to his co-workers (he worked part time at Wendy for a couple of months).

Buffalo shooting: A racist hate crime

Payton Gendron, 18-year-old suspect of buffalo supermarket shooting is claimed to have racial motives behind his actions. The teenager as stated by his cousins was affected deeply by the pandemic. The isolation and paranoia may havecontributed to the downfall of his mental health, said his cousins.

The suspect in custody hasn't released an official statement regarding the shooting but is said to have chosen its location as it was in the majority black zip code within driving distance from where he lived. Neighbors of the Gendron family were shocked after hearing the news as they didn’t think of Payton as being a racist. He was a relatively quiet kid and hardly talked with other people.

He had planned this for the previous few months and even visited the store to learn the structurallayout to carry out his plan. He created an invite only server 30 minutes prior to the attackon discord and was also live streaming through the app twitch from his helmet camera.

Payton is suspected to have plans on going to different locations after the store as he had two spare guns in the passenger seat with writings all over the gun. The writings were white lives matterand the names of victims of a crime allegedly committed by a black suspect.

Conclusion: Gun violence has raised concerns about mental health

Mass shootings or gun violence in the US has always been a recurring issue and has raised serious concerns about the mental health struggles of its citizens. Most of the mass shootings have been a result of unresolvedor neglected mental issues rather than any ulterior motives. Whether to seek social attention or just simply because they are looking for some excitement in their life, the suspects of these heinous crimes have left people questioning the people they are surrounded with. People have grown conscious of their own circles implanting a deep fear inside them. It has given people signs of how we should think about the psychological and mental environment we are creating around ourselves.
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