As I sit here and begin to write this article, I am at a loss for words. How do you begin to write your feelings when you are numb to begin with? So many acts of violence have occurred in my twenty year life time alone that at this point, I am used to it. How is it we have allowed these to become so normal that a person isn't surprised when seventeen people die at school? How is it that I am not shocked to hear of the horrors that are hitting closer and closer to home everyday? We are hardly eight weeks into the new year and eight school shooting have already happened and I am not surprised by that number at all.
We as a whole are becoming complacent in the fact that we are allowing these to happen at a growing rate and nothing is being done about it.
Is it a gun issue?
Is it a mental health issue?
I don't know and I wont write like I do know. But the pattern I am seeing is that we have made this a political party issue. We want to place blame on the republicans because they are generally more open to looser gun policies. We want to place blame on the democrats because they want stricter gun laws that could keep people from defending themselves and saving their life as well as others. Everybody pretty much agrees it is a mental health issue yet there have been no policies in place to battle that issue. In fact, i'd say we are placing a stigma on mental health that doesn't allow people to seek out the help they so desperately need. But this is more than mental health. Mental health has always been prevalent in our society. It isn't like the flu where it changes each year in fact it has remained fairly constant over the years. We want to blame it on mental health but while it stays constant the shootings are getting more frequent. So what is it that is causing this incline?
In just the past twenty years, media has become so much more involved in the world. Everything from pictures of puppies to your wedding invitations has made its way to the internet and we see it all every single day. The darker end of that is the violence we see. Back yard brawls are now recorded and posted for the world to watch. Robberies and even murder are recorded and just by logging on to my social media I am able to watch them all take place. Facebook has even introduced a feature that will cover possibly violent photos and videos and give you a disclaimer that you are about to see something that was posted with the intent to offend in one way or another. We see this every single day. It is so common on your news feed that we are oblivious to it and even desensitized to it. To me, that is the underlying issue. I don't have a solution to this problem and I feel that a solution would be hard to obtain given the current partisan split in our country. However, I do feel that this needs to be an issue that is brought up and considered in the necessary changes this country will end up going through.
Mass killings and other senseless violence are far too complex to have a single solution. We as a whole need to stop pointing fingers and instead take account all issues being brought to attention. Personally, I do believe that my generation will be the one to bring change and the only way to really bring said change, is to look at and tackle from every angle. My heart is with the many victims of this most recent tragedy as well as the ones before and any that will follow. But my heart isn't enough. I vow to fight for change and do whatever it takes to see that change happen in my lifetime. I encourage all of you reading this to stop your Facebook debates and instead email your congress. Call your senators. Go sit at the capital and demand something be done. I don't think that it takes a republican or a democrat to know that we do have a problem, but it does take both sides to come together and make the change.
"Only love can truly save the world"
- Wonder Woman