Are We Desensitized to the Word "Terrorist"?
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Politics and Activism

Are We Desensitized to the Word "Terrorist"?

We use the word terrorist for those that are from the middle east, but the truth is they are not the only terrorist.

Are We Desensitized to the Word "Terrorist"?

At first I didn't know if this what I wanted to write after the tragedy in Las Vegas but I realized how much I have been through in my life. How much tragedy my generation has been through. I asked myself "is my generation going to be desensitized one day?" this is why I think it may happen.

I turned 22 in 2017 and it seems that all my life I have see the tragedies of mass shootings and terror attacks. My generation is almost so used to seeing these tragedies. When will this all stop, how many people must die to make us realize that things need to change.

I was born in March of 1995 and just about 4 years later Columbine happened. 15 died including the killers with 24 being injured. I say that this terrible tragedy started it all of the terror for my generation. Since Columbine there has been at least one mass shooting every year. A mass shooting by definition is an event where 4 or more people die from a gun. So thats 4 or more people dying at the hand of usually one person a year for a mass shooting.

September 11, 2001 2,977 people died because of terrorists. The Twin Towers fell, the Pentagon was hit and about one hour from my home Flight 93 went down. We started assuming everything was terrorism and that all terrorist were Muslim.

Columbine was done by two white American High Schoolers. Unfortunately the terrorist on September 11th gave us two things: fear and how to be desensitized.

The fear was focused towards a people that wanted nothing to do with this. Not all Muslims are terrorists. We didn't know it but this would be the first of many moments where we are sad for a day and then move on with it still in our heads.

April 16, 2007 The Virginia Tech Shooting. 33 people died including the perpetrators with 23 injured. The killer was a student there from South Korea not your "typical terrorist".

November 5, 2009 Fort Hood Texas Shooting. 13 were shot dead by a U.S. Army Major and psychiatrist. 33 including the shooter were injured. The worst mass shooting on an American Military base. Is a U.S. Army Major your "typical terrorist"?

January 8, 2011 6 people dead, 15 hurt including the perpetrator during the Tucson shooting. A 22 year old American targeted a U.S. Representative. Do you think he is your "typical terrorist"?

July 20, 2012 12 people died 70 injured at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater waiting to see a midnight showing of The Dark Knight. A University Student from American did this. He was a doctoral student not really your "typical terrorist".

Later that year another tragedy. Only this time in involved children.

December 14, 2014 The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. 28 dead including the perpetrator and his mother whom he killed at her home before heading to the school. He killed 20 children between the ages of 6 and 7 as well as six adult staff members. A 20 year old from America did this, not your "typical terrorist".

I thought something would change after this. Children died. Nephews, nieces, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. Innocent children who had their whole lives ahead of the, taken by a gun- a thing they probably didn't even know about.

April 2, 2014 The Fort Hood Military Base experienced another shooting. This time 4 dead including the killer with 14 injured. Once again the gunman was in the Army. Not someone you would consider a "typical terrorist".

June 17, 2015 9 churchgoers were gunned down because they were African American. They were killed by a 21 year old domestic terrorist who was a white supremacist. I included this because out of all of these stories this is the first one to consider someone a domestic terrorist. Not just a terrorist but a domestic terrorist because he was American.

December 2, 2015 16 people including the perpetrators were killed 24 others were injured at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. These killers were your "typical terrorist". A husband and wife. The husband was born in Chicago to parents who immigrated from Pakistan. He was a Sunni Muslim. The wife was born in Pakistan but lived most of her life in Saudi Arabia. Why include this you ask, because when we see terrorist like this we assume that all muslim or all people Pakistan are killers. The thing is they are not.

March 9, 2016 a shooting happened about an hour from my home. 6 were dead including an unborn baby with 3 more injured. This all happened in a backyard in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. I never looked at this as a mass shooting because I always thought a mass shooting was where there was a lot of casualties. But no 6 people died- remember 4 need to die for it to be considered a mass shooting. The 2 killers were targeting one person because they wanted revenge. Was this your "typical terrorist"?

Then my world stopped as a place I considered my "home" was targeted. It was considered the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

June 12, 2016 The Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. 50 people including the killer dead with 58 more injured. A 29 year old security guard committed a terrorist attack/ hate crime. Pulse was a gay nightclub. Did you catch what I called it, yep a terrorist attack and heres why. The killer's parents were Afghan and he was raised Muslim. Because of this he was classified as a "typical terrorist".

Then October 1, 2017 happened. As of writing this 59 people including the killer are dead with 530 injured. This happened in Las Vegas during a concert. A 64 year old American committed the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Not your "typical terrorist". This one is still to painful to fully talk about.

I write this talking about typical terrorist because ever since 9/11 we see that just because someone is from the Middle East or are Muslim they are automatically called a terrorist. The thing is all of these shootings were committed by a terrorist. We need to stop sugar coating this. No matter what age, sex, race or religion you are a terrorist if you intend on killing people. Not all Muslims are terrorist same as not all Middle Eastern people are terrorist. So instead of calling an American who committed a mass shooting a murder call them what they really are- a terrorist.

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