October 2017 Staff Editorial: Taking action in wake of tragedies


Sydney Evans

ONCE AGAIN. Time and time again, the United States has been plagued by mass shootings. The death tolls continue to increase, and yet little seems to be done to solve the problem. However, even as the population slowly becomes desensitized, the tragedy is no less significant.

By now, most high school students do not really remember a time when mass shootings were “uncommon.”

Therefore, we are willing to bet that a common reaction to the worst mass shooting in American history that took place in early October was, “This again? How terrible.”

The Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as an occurrence in which four or more are shot/killed in a single event. By this definition, Las Vegas’ tragedy was the 273rd of 291 this year. So far, there have only been 294 days of 2017.

To varying extents, we have all become desensitized. How could anyone make an argument to the contrary when we perpetuate a condition in which 12,000 gun homicides are committed each year?

As a society, we are no longer filled with the rage and injustice that we felt after Sandy Hook or after San Bernardino or after Orlando. It is impractical to put ourselves through that kind of passion and emotion time and time again, because what has it really accomplished?

We are shocked and then we are outraged and then nothing happens. We continue with our lives, and at some point we are no longer shocked when the next one comes.

The problem is: a murder today is no less tragic than one that took place a few years ago.

We are not blaming people for moving on, nor are we arguing that everyone should agree on the solution, but we cannot continue to go down this slippery slope of stagnation.

When the generation that grew up preparing for shootings in schools is grown up, how many people will have to die in a shooting for it to make the news?

Sure, we do not have all the answers. Most of us cannot even vote. But we at least owe it to the victims, and to ourselves, to respond. Care. Listen. Figure out what you think is the solution and say something about it.

If not, we are more likely than not to regret it one day when it hits closer to home.