On December 2, there was an attack at San Bernardino, California. A couple attacked a social service center, killing 14 people. When it occurred, the town was in havoc. Little was known about the incident; the attackers drove off. A common citizen on the news was interviewed, saying that he was relieved to hear a call from his daughter telling him that she was okay.
When I was talking to my friend, I referenced this shooting, and she said, “What shooting? Another one?”
It was then that I realized how many of us have become terribly desensitized to such bad news. I have found that conversation about shootings has become almost casual. Sure, when the Paris attack occurred, the entire nation seemed to hold their breath for a moment, and it was great to see the country respond with such respect. But now, it seems like enough time has passed that we can carry on.
It’s not like this is anyone’s fault, or that we are bad people for not grieving over the losses in every shooting, but the alarming number of mass shootings this year is certainly an eye opener. The victims of these attacks were just carrying on a regular day like you and me. An attack could, essentially, happen in any community. This gives us another reason to appreciate our lives and those around us.
The San Bernardino shooting, the most recent mass shooting in the US, was the 353rd shooting for the year 2015 to be defined as a “mass shooting”, where 4 or more people were killed or injured. Can you even wrap your head around this? There have been more shootings this year than the number of days we’ve reached. The year isn’t even over. Last year, there were 336 mass shootings in the US (Thank you to shootingtracker.com for the data. It’s depressing that such a website exists…). Sadly, this country is no stranger to such violence.
Is this article a call to gun control? No. Am I trying to make everyone feel guilty? Absolutely not—there is no reason to. All I am doing is reminding everyone that there are broken families, lost loved ones, and shattered hopes because of these horrible events. There are many reasons to be thankful this Christmas season, and being surrounded by friends and family is certainly an important one!