Mass Shootings No Longer Surprise Me
I woke up this morning to what everyone else woke up to. Nine dead and 27 injured in Dayton, Ohio. Right on the heels of 20 people killed in El Paso. Three in Gilroy. Three shootings. 32 people. One week.
When I saw the notification on my phone this morning, I had no reaction. None. I looked at it and then put the phone down.
I didn’t open the story to read more. I made no audible noise. I had more of a reaction to the notification of the Yankees beating the Sox yesterday.
I have become desensitized to the slaying of innocent people in our country by people who were born and raised in our country. It’s just another day in America, folks. Nothing to see here.
What have we become? Has our capacity for empathy been completely depleted? Where do we go from here?
I remember when I used to feel more. These acts would burrow deep down into my core. They sat heavy there.
I was in my third year of teaching high school when Columbine happened. I remember the devastation I felt. Everyone hurt. Our country struggled to make sense of such a horrific event.
Now, these events are so frequent we have no interest in the details. We know why it happened, why it’s happened before and why it will happen again. We also know that nothing is changing.
My desensitization is a feeling of hopelessness. I no longer hold any hope that things will ever change. This is the new normal.
I’m losing any faith and hope in humanity.
We’ve had what we knew as normal life taken away from us. Fear has become a mainstay of our daily lives. When I heard about the Boston Marathon bombing, I reeled over the fact that, not only did it happen, but that something as simple as running was no longer safe.
Going to a garlic festival is now unsafe. Going to a nightclub, a movie or a shopping center is a risk.
We have grown accustomed to going out into public and immediately looking for the nearest exit wherever we go. And it’s not even a big deal to us. We’ve accepted it.
Though my lack of general sadness in light of these events is concerning enough, I’m more concerned with my lack of anger. I’ve been angry. I’ve ranted. I’ve yelled. I’ve argued. It’s not worked. I didn’t mind the angry, years ago when this first started happening. That was back when angry felt productive. I don’t anything is productive anymore. Nothing is working.
I don’t know what else we can do.
*Humanity puzzles, concerns and disappoints me regularly. You can read about that:
I Rebuffed a Man and He Died 10 Minutes Later
I felt like I killed a man. I felt responsible.