Desensitized to shootings
October 2, 2017..
The madness of the Las Vegas shooting continues .. the aftermath of a massacre..
Incidentally it’s the anniversary of the famous but sadly now forgotten Nickel Mines shooting in Pennsylvania … something so horrific looks so tame compared to the modern news today..
At that time, in Pennsylvania, the mood was grim and sad. A group of innocent children gunned down.. Fast forward a decade or so, and we have a large number of mass shootings behind us.. Things like Sandy Hook.. Places like concerts. Movies. Theaters. Businesses. Schools….
The national trauma continues today with the single largest mass shooting in American history. Something scares me about that. Because every time we have a ‘biggest ever’ event, something else comes around to make the previous pale in comparison.
So at this juncture, as bodies are still being either entered into morgues or triaged in hospitals, the nation is acting oddly.. Odd because many people are causally saying it’s a “these things happen” kind of event. Like we should expect it.. That is troubling. I quite literally heard at least three people throughout my daily affairs today say that ‘these things happen.’ Yes.. they do. And no, they should not.
It is profound where we are as a society..
Since 9/11, we have digressed into a population that seems at times unrecognizable. The daily affairs of media play to our divisions and tribal emotions. One day we care if you kneel during an anthem. The next day we bury almost 100 people after a mass shooting. Tomorrow?
Anyone’s guess. We will move on too quickly.
While the year is still far from over, it seems likely to envision the story of the year: The national trauma. The fact that each week, an event of historic proportions occurred. Whether it was the largest storms in history or the biggest nuclear war threat in history, we are constantly being sidelined on our quest to the pursuit if happiness. Instead of living big, we are merely coping in a meager existence ..
I believe that a national trauma began in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. We never fully came to grips with what happened.. instead of channeling emotions and deeply diving into our collective soul, we got busy declaring war and nation building. All of that went awry as the decade wore on….
Now it’s shootings.. Mental chaos. Violence..
So often I am a proponent of saying that “it was always violent” to try to dissuade people from believing we are in the worst of times. Yes! Even me! The eternal pessimist is positive at moments in my life.
But not when 58+ are dead. Not when 500+ more were shot.. Not when we are living in the aftermath of the largest shooting in the history of our country, minus the Civil War.
No.. not at all.
But… I am also fighting off the terrible sense that ….it’s just another day in the life of the United States of America.