The Complex Emotions Caused By Mass Shootings

The Complex Emotions Caused By Mass Shootings

Thoughts from a student who is slowly becoming numb when it comes to tragic events.

On Wednesday, February 14th, a 19-year-old gunman and ex-student walked right into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, pulled the fire alarm, and opened fired as students came into the hallways. After being able to escape by blending in with the crowd, the gunman fled the school and made his way to a few towns over. From there, he was captured, sent to the hospital, and then arrested upon being released. The news came quick and heavy across all forces of news outlets. Within a matter of moments, the world was once again all coming together to stare and debate the latest mass shooting news.

I was no exception when it came to being invested in the breaking news. I remember very clearly. I had just walked into the lecture hall for my JAMS 101 class. I was sitting in one of the last rows, in a seat in the corner, when my phone buzzed. It was just before 2:00 CT and I had gotten a breaking news notification from my handy-dandy TMJ4 app. I opened the app and immediately, I saw the very first sentence which summarized that there had been a school shooting in Florida and all they knew was 20 students were injured. I closed the app and got ready for lecture.

In the moment, I didn’t think to sit back and register what I had just read. Instead, I opened my notebook and waited for my professor to begin. At the time, it felt like the natural thing to do. From there, I didn’t really think about the incident or get another notification for it. It slipped my mind until I moved onto my last class and my roommate was on snapchat. I saw the story for the shooting and it suddenly hit me again.

When we got back to the suite, we were bombarded on facebook with posts saying, "pray for Florida" or "we need more gun control." and depressing photos that you’d expect your dramatic aunt to share.

Upon seeing all the posts, we were on a hunt for all the information we could gather. We were scavenging the internet, in all the corners of all the news networks, trying to dig up information on who was the shooter, what was he like in school, why did he do this, how did he get in, etc. All the major questions anyone would want to, we were on the hunt for like some wild hackers.

In the midst of our searches, we stumbled upon videos taken at the crime scenes and even during the shootings. While these were heartbreaking, we moved on with our investigation. And right there lies the problem at hand.

There’s this vicious cycle I have found my generation goes through. When hearing of a mass shooting, we no longer feel the deep, rooted sadness one would expect. We aren’t exactly to be blamed for this, either. We, a collective generation, have been exposed to so many shootings and tragedies that now it just rolls right off our shoulders. The best way to express my feelings towards it is to compare it to how humans can adapt to smells. When exposed to a scent for a very long time, such as the smell of our homes, we stop smelling it. However, sometimes we a whiff of it when we walk back in but then it disappears once again. This is the commonality of mass shootings has toyed with my emotions. When you have already 18 shootings in a year and its only February... who has enough strength in them to really sit down and truly grieve. By the time you’re done, there’s already another one to focus on and the unbearable cycle rolls on.

Of course what happened is tragic, it always is tragic, it’s just our reactions to everything have become so obsolete. We have grown to have this mentality of “oh another one” and shuffle through life. No society should ever have to adapt to violence but we can’t help it. With nothing ever changing, we hear the same banter, the same cases, the same causes... all of that. It’s the same news, same chatter, and it’s enough to drive someone insane.

It’s a shame we have come to this moment in society. I do not mean to sound insensitive because I truly do feel something about the latest mass shooting it’s just that it has become a waiting game for the next tragedy. I do truly feel horrified by the events and this now makes me uneasy to go anywhere. However, all the emotions just bundle together and sooner or later I can’t take it, my body can’t take it, and my mind certainly can’t take it. So, we just adapt to it. As much as I would love for that to change, it seems it never will. If we can’t get it together, slowly but surely we will just keep producing generations of children more numb and more unsurprised by the latest breaking news.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

Popular Right Now

12 Things Young Republicans Are Tired Of Hearing

A dozen myths about conservatism and what the real deal is.


As a college student, I know a lot of people my age consider themselves very liberal. It's a rare occasion when you meet another conservative on campus. Being a young Republican, there are several negative assumptions that come along with that.

Here is a list of 12 things we're all tired of hearing.

1. "You're only a Republican because your parents are."

Yes, my parents are both Republican and that's where my morals and beliefs were first taught, but I am my own person. I have done my own research and decided that my views side with the Republican Party. There are several things that even my parents and I disagree on. I wouldn't choose to be a Democrat just so I could be different.

2. "I bet you support Trump."

While many Republicans my age are supporting Trump, that doesn't mean we all are. We're entitled to our personal opinions and assuming we're all the same is incorrect. Just because you are a Republican doesn't mean you automatically support Trump.

3. "You're racist, sexist, etc."

This couldn't be farther from the truth. There are so many Republicans that come from unique racial and cultural backgrounds, both genders included. Take Marco Rubio, Condoleezza Rice, Ben Carson, and Bobby Jindal. These are just a few of the many, many examples.

4. "You're uneducated about the issues."

Just because someone has a different opinion than you doesn't mean they're wrong or uninformed.

5. "You're only a Republican because you're rich."

I am by no means rich. Did my parents have enough money to support their family? Yes, and I'm very blessed for that. However, they didn't pay for everything. As for college, I worked my butt off to get scholarships and opportunities to succeed. I was taught at a very young age that money requires work and things aren't just handed to you. That's exactly the reason why I strongly support capitalism.

6. "Why don't you want free college?"

NOTHING IS FREE. Would free college be awesome? Absolutely! However, I do not believe it's fair to tax working people to pay for it. If you want something, work for it.

7. "The GOP is a bunch of old, white men."

This is so untrue. I mean take a look at all the well-known conservatives in America. Lauren Conrad, Britney Spears, Carrie Underwood, Carly Fiorina, Condoleezza Rice, Megyn Kelly, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, and so many more. Point proven.

8. "You're close-minded."

This is the most common and most annoying. Conservative does not equal close-minded. I love hearing about different ideas and opinions.

9. "You hate immigrants."

I personally feel like our immigration system is broken and needs to be changed so it's more accessible to become an American citizen. However, I don't believe those here illegally should receive taxpayer benefits. I'm all for immigration as long as it's done legally.

10. "You don't support women's rights."

Usually, this is brought up when talking about abortion. What about the rights of the unborn child? It's not just about one person's rights at that point.

11. "You should just #FeelTheBern."

#NO. I do not support socialism.

12. "You only hear the Fox News version."

Fox News is my favorite choice of news programs, but I also enjoy hearing the different views on CNN, NBC, Huffington Post, etc.

Cover Image Credit: Texas State University College Republicans

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

21 Tweets About Anti-Vax Children That Will Make Parents Get Their Kids Vaccinated ASAP

Vaccinate your kids. Period.


I have compiled 21 tweets about anti-vaccination parents and their children that did not only make me laugh, but made me further enforce my belief that parents need to vaccinate their kids.

These tweets are pretty dark, to be honest, but once you think about the situation at hand, sometimes it is best to approach it in a funny way so you can get your point across.

You have been warned.

These tweets may be funny, but the situation is not funny. Do your research and help people around you not get sick by vaccinating your kids.






















(and probably the most important tweet of all).

Related Content

Facebook Comments