Last Saturday, a mass shooter killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Just one day later, another gunman opened fire in Dayton, Ohio, killing nine. Unsurprisingly, politicians have used the tragic events as an immediate reason to call for increased gun control. At the end of the day, their claims simplify to two main points; first, that the mass shootings are indicative of a major American violence problem, and second, that this problem exists because we don’t have enough gun control. Both of these points are moot. Mass shootings are, ultimately, a tool that politicians use to further their ends.
In today’s America, mass shootings are a very unfortunate reality. Each event a tragic stain on our history, it can be difficult to fathom exactly how to solve the problem. A pattern follows, and the country begins a discussion of solutions involving gun control, which some empirical data suggests will not work. Even then, however, we’re missing a critical cause of American deaths that kills even more people than mass shootings do: police brutality.