Numbness of the American People
While people think this will finally make guns illegal in the United States, the Las Vegas Massacre will not do much in the way of policy. A little under sixty people dead is not going to suddenly change the way people think. If we Americans didn’t demand– and follow through– with change after the Sandy Hook Massacre, where twenty children died, you really think we’re going to change now?
Congress is republican. President Trump is republican. The NRA, who lobby politicians with large money deposits, control many of the republican politicians. Yes, the NRA did take a step forward to say that certain add-ons of semi-automatic weapons shouldn’t be sold, but it doesn’t mean they have suddenly turned “good.”
(Some would argue the NRA is evil. Some would argue the NRA is good. You can make your own decision.)
For Americans, there is the pain and sadness, but at this point, we’re also pretty numb. On average there is one mass shooting a day in the United States. A mass shooting, by the way, is where at least four people are shot with no cooling off period. In 2015, according to BBC, 26819 people were shot in the US (not including suicides). In 2016, the population of the United States was 323.1 million people. Doing the math, that means one in 12,047.4 people will be shot in the United States.
Once again, some of us are pretty numb to the idea.
Since fifth grade, I have practiced how to act in a mass shooting situation in school. In fifth grade, it was dangerous and really was only an afterthought, and at the time there were no doors on the classrooms. If there was a mass shooting in my elementary school, we were going down. When I returned to my elementary school less than a year after Sandy Hook, doors and locks were everything. You had to be buzzed to get into the building with cameras on you.
High school was the same of never being able to get in or out unless a fire alarm. There were more practices in high school because of the increase in mass shootings. It was also a game to play: who was going to be the mass shooter? Out of all the people in the high school, who was it going to be? We all hoped we wouldn’t die and it wouldn’t happen, but everyone had an idea of who it was going to be.
In college, it’s the same thing: who is it going to be? Freshmen year, I had no idea. In fact, I think the fear almost fell away, like it wouldn’t happen here. Sophomore year, I knew who it would be, and I knew when it would be. It never came. Junior, I don’t know who it would be. What’s better: knowing who it is or not?
At this point, anyway, for the big mass shootings, the ones that are reported on TV, it’s all a numbers game. How many people can they kill? The smaller ones are personal, usually office shootings or some other sort, aren’t reported on the TV in fear of copycats. As for copycats– once again– there is a mass shooting every day in the US, on average.
Numbness is easy and the usual. There is some massive news coverage, and people have to wonder if it’s Islamic Terrorism or just some random white dude with anger and having a mental breakdown. We’ll feel bad for a few days. We’ll be angry for a few days. Then we forget, and suddenly it was a week ago. What a long week it’s been? I’ve had school or work or things going on. Suddenly, it was a week ago, and we don’t care too much anymore.
We wait until the next one, and after that, we still won’t do anything. The Las Vegas Massacre proves what the Sandy Hook Massacre proves what the Pulse Nightclub Shooting proves what the Virginia Tech Massacre proves what the Columbine Massacre proved– we don’t do anything. We say we can’t do anything, so let’s pray on it.
“Oh, it isn’t the time to speak about legislature.”
“We’ll pray on it. Our thoughts are with the victims and the families of the victims.”
However, for all the people who watch the news and see it, and we feel it, we are also the victims. We are also the injured. We don’t have the gunshots, but we have the fear. We aren’t in the hospital; we are at home, scared to go outside and go to work. We are paranoid; we are angry; we are sad.
And then it happens again.