Exactly a year after Parkland, there had been nearly 350 mass shootings in the U.S., defined as a shooting in which four or more people, excluding the shooter, were shot but not necessarily killed. That number is very close to one every day in the year since.
If we look even farther back than just one year ago in Parkland, if we go all the way back to Sandy Hook in December 2012, when the mantra of "never again" was adopted, there has been nearly 2,000 mass shootings since. Over 2,200 people were killed, and nearly 8,200 were wounded. Since 2013, there has only been one full calendar week in the U.S.--the week of January 5, 2014--that did not have a mass shooting. From January 1 of this year to February 14, there had been 37 mass shootings, which saw 60 people killed and 113 wounded.
The worst part is, mass shootings happen so often now that we don't always hear of them. In the past year since the Parkland shooting, I had only heard of a handful of the nearly 350 mass shootings that took place. And that's not because I don't pay attention. When I'm at home, I'd watch the morning or nightly news with my family--which, for Chicago news stations, involves a lot of gun violence stories--and when I'm in college and don't have a TV, I read a lot of news articles online. I care about what happens in this nation, what happens around me. And perhaps that's why, as a human being, all of this hurts so much.
The more articles I read about the shooting in Aurora at Henry Pratt Co., the more statistics I find relating to gun violence and mass shootings, the more I read about the so-called national emergency our president declared, the more painful this all becomes. To think that so many people are losing their lives to gun violence and mass shootings and there's relatively nothing being done to stop it, no recognition from the leader of our nation, it's incredibly sickening. It's all unnecessary bloodshed, innocent lives being taken. I absolutely hate that I have to write this--I shouldn't have to write this.
Citizens of this country should not be afraid to go to work. They shouldn't have to worry about being shot on their first day on the job, whether an intern or full-time employee--they've already got first-day nerves, the added fear of a shooting does not need to be there. They shouldn't have to be afraid to go to school, not knowing if they'll be able to make it home that day. Parents shouldn't be scared to send their kids to school, either. And college kids worst nightmare shouldn't be not being able to make it home if something happened to their parents or siblings or friends during a mass shooting. A president's response to this shouldn't be a routine. We shouldn't be numb to hearing about yet another mass shooting.
All of this is preventable. All of this needs to be addressed. None of this is okay.