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Something has been bothering me lately. Well, many things bother me on a daily basis but there has been something lingering in the back of my head over the past week and a half that has me perplexed. This is something that I am basing off of my own observations and the small sample size of people that make up my social circle.
I’ve been away from the news lately. Since I’m preparing for graduating, I haven’t been able to update you all with new Taking Back The House diaries or whatever attention grabbing stunt that Ted Cruz has come up with. I’m aware of what’s going on but life has really gotten in the way of what I’ve worked very hard to build.
However, I’m back now on a somber note. At least, somber for me. So let me just cut to the chase and stop it with the hyperboles.
Why have we seemed to have quickly moved on from the tragic shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.? The heinous event took place now more than a week ago but now its barely a blip on the radar. There was no “#DCStrong” hashtag, there wasn’t days upon days of news coverage near the scene of the crime, there doesn’t appear to be any raging “false flag” conspiracy theories about the event, and even the gun reform debates are missing the fire that has been dominating the issue over the past few mass shootings.
We knew the names of some of those killed at Tucson when Gabrielle Giffords was nearly assassinated. The identity of the Dark Knight shooter was examined many times and with the previous two; the topic of mental health was explored. When a Neo-Nazi went on a rampage inside a Sikh Temple, we found out more about the killer than we did earlier. Then came the events of Sandy Hook which dominated our thoughts for months (and for me, still to this day).
Now shootings happen everyday in America and murders happen in some big cities on an almost daily basis. I’m someone who hates the constant coverage of major, sick events but I understand why it happens at least.
But the utter silence, in my eyes, seemed to extend to my social group. At 3:00pm practice (hours after the shootings took place), people were unaware of what happened. At 7:00pm at the dining hall, I heard someone go “whoa, there was a shooting in D.C.?”. All throughout Twitter, there were various people who said that no one was talking about it at work, at school or wherever they were.
What does it say about us? Its like twelve people, who were taken away from their families and loved ones, just simply aren’t on Earth anymore. Its like people are just used to these annual mass attacks that its not even worth our time anymore to emotionally comprehend what is happening.
Have we lost the fire for either gun reform laws or even examining how we look at mental health issues? Are we just so used to defeat that we are willing to accept that these events are going to happen and its better to just move on rather than fight to even attempt to prevent one more? Even if we can’t stop them, isn’t it worth our time to at least help that one person get the help they need?
Apparently not. The NRA, a glorified special interest group that’s nothing more than a public relations company, has power and they know how to wield it. There are two state senators in Colorado that were recalled (something that probably few heard about though state-level races are only cared about in the states that they occur in) that showed how the gun lobby basically can rally their troops more than the rest of the country.
Then there is how we look at mental illness. We still have that mindset that depression is an emotion, not an illness. Many see going to therapy as a thing for other people to do, but not themselves because “they can handle it”. We see schizophrenia as “crazy” and bipolar as either violent or just people being “moody”. Then we assume that the people who seek and get the help they need are just magically cured and go back to living their life when its just a constant battle daily for many Americans.
Maybe we don’t need to critique the media, but to critique ourselves. Maybe we need to look at what we are saying or watching.
But this is an alarming trend.