The Desensitization of a Generation
There has been breaking news in the last few hours of a mass shooting at a Washington, DC Navy Yard. Now, you can find the details elsewhere and I don’t believe in reporting what I personally don’t know. I am not aware of the details and I don’t believe most news agencies are either, to be honest. Therefore I will not feed the flames of conspiracy theorists with misinformation. No, the reason for my post today was a personal realization that I had this morning.
Over the course of my lifetime, I cannot even count the times that there has been a mass shooting somewhere. High schools, middle schools, colleges, elementary schools, malls, movies, and military bases. Over and over and over again the headlines are the same. Sure the location may change and the shooters’ names change but otherwise they are the same thing. Lone gunman walks into a crowded space and for reasons unknown starts killing everyone in sight. It is always the same and the pictures are always the same. Scared crowds, frightened pedestrians, hard nosed cops. Basically, what I am attempting to say is that I have become numb from it.
I have been desensitized by violence and it sickens me to my very core. This should effect me. I should be upset that someone dared to dishonor our military personnel. I should be upset that right now families are getting word that a loved one isn’t coming home. But I am not. I honestly and sincerely am not upset. I have gone about my morning as if nothing has changed and that our nation’s capital was rocked this morning. This is full on sincerity and honesty here.
What terrifies me is that we are now raising an entire generation under these headlines. If I am desensitized now, what will the future look like? What sort of world will my son being raising his children in? At some point in time, the desensitization and self preservation will kick in and these headlines will cease to upset anyone. It will just be another day another shooting. The very thought chills me to my marrow.
There’s no possible way that I am alone in this and I don’t even know who to blame for it. Is it the media’s fault for putting it out there all the time? Is it the self preservation? Is it possible that I am able to ignore the headline in order to allow myself to feel even a tiny bit safe when I enter a crowd? I don’t know what the answer is and I don’t know how to change it. I just hope that I am not alone.