OPINION: Why Is Nobody Talking About Mass Shootings Anymore?

By: Naomi Metoyer
OwlFeed Journalist

Monday morning, I came to school numb to my core. There had been yet another mass shooting in the United States, and not a single person was talking about it.

I heard of the tragic passing of Arizona’s dear Senator John McCain on Saturday, and the rivalry game against Tolleson High School from Friday night. The entire day, however, I heard nothing of Sunday’s news. Three people in Florida had been cut down in the middle of their lives, others injured and reeling, and not a single soul in the two thousand around me seemed to notice.

I could have forgiven it, I could have almost gotten over it. However, this was not just a case of ignorance, but rather of desensitization. There have been so many of these tragedies, covered in media or not, that have plagued our nation for too long, and now, it is to the point where people simply aren’t surprised anymore.

Yet despite the seeming acceptance of mass killings, this epidemic has caused rising numbers of Americans to fear for their lives every day. Some even prepare emergency exits and escape plans when they go out in case the worst occurs.

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PC: JOE SKIPPER/REUTERS

The New York Times asked readers in 2015 how often they thought about possibly being caught in a shooting. “Riding the subway, going to the movies, dropping their children off at school and attending religious services,” gave thousands of readers severe anxiety concerning a possible attack. And this was before 2017 came around, the worst year for mass killings in modern U.S. history.

With fear creeping into our bones, the majority of the population and those who represent our interests have still done far too little. Most accept the sorry state of our nation as a fact, rather than as an issue to be solved.

In preparation for writing this piece, I spoke to my fellow classmates about this occurrence. I expressed how, even at this point, the shootings still leave a deep ache in my heart. I told them I am not merely sad, not merely scared, but angry. I am infuriated, and I want to speak to everyone I come into contact with about the urgency we all need to show in fixing this horrifying norm.

They acted as if I were the crazy one. “There’s nothing that can be done about it,” one friend told me, to which I replied that we could at the very least talk about it. He laughed. I said that we could speak up, force our representatives to create better gun restrictions and not try to fix a gun problem by adding more guns. They shook their heads and dismissed me. “It’s been done. Nothing’s gonna change.”

The thing is, nearly every day there is a mass shooting in America, sometimes more than one per day. According to the Mass Shooting Tracker–because this issue is so prevalent that we need one–there have been 291 mass shootings in 2018. It is the 243rd day of the year.

Are my classmates right, then? Is there nothing that can be done to fix a problem that people no longer bat an eyelash at?

The simple answer is no. The long answer is, if you want an issue resolved, you must take initiative in rectifying it. We all have a voice, it’s just a matter of how and why you decide to use it.

I don’t want to live in fear anymore. Do you?