The largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history occurred Sunday. What has changed?

On April 20, 1999, the first mass school shooting to get continuous television coverage occurred at Columbine. Since then, what has changed?

On Dec. 14, 2012, 20 children and six adults died in the Sandy Hook shooting. What has changed?

In June 2016, the Pulse nightclub shooting was, at the time, labeled the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. What has changed?

Sadly, this is not a complete list. There are just too many horrible events to name.

For the next few weeks, we are going to hear debates on gun control. That’s the pattern; we already know what side people will be on because this is not new in America. But what has changed from this debate, besides death tolls dramatically increasing?

What needs to change?

I feel we need to focus the conversation on improving mental health services as a solution to these problems. Understand that a plethora of scientific and theoretical literature supports this claim, and for brevity’s sake I have decided to not bore you with the details.

We need to realize the reason why mass shootings happen in this country. We need to realize that these mass shooters are made and developed, not born. We need to realize these events are not about what political side you are on or your view of guns. We need to realize that this is a failure of our society and not an individual issue.

We need to increase mental health services in the United States. Please let this event be the catalyst for the improvement of our mental health system. That is what needs to change.

Joshua Mangin

master of science

in clinical mental health counseling