What we wish we did not know…
New York City, New York -- September 11, 2001 -- 2,996 killed
Blacksburg, Virginia -- Virginia Tech Shooting -- April 16, 2007 -- 32 killed
Aurora, Colorado -- Batman Movie Theater Shooting -- July 20, 2012 – 12 killed
Boston, Massachusetts -- Boston Marathon Bombing -- April 15, 2013 -- 3 dead, 264 wounded
Newtown, Connecticut -- Sandy Hook Elementary School -- December 14, 2012 -- 28 killed
Charleston, South Carolina -- Charleston Church Shooting -- June 17, 2016 -- 9 killed
San Bernardino, California -- Office Shooting -- December 2, 2015 -- 14 killed
Orlando, Florida -- Pulse Nightclub Massacre -- June 16, 2016 -- 49 killed
I am disturbed by these statistics.
How many more events need to happen before every day becomes a day in which we remember a tragedy that occurs in our country? When is every month going to mark a date when lives were taken by an act of violence? When do these shootings stop becoming an anomaly and more of a reality? When will we feel safe again?
On June 12, 2016, the Orlando shooting happened. On June 14, 2016, a two-year-old boy got pulled into the water at Disney and was drowned by an alligator. On May 28, 2016, a gorilla was shot after dragging a child through the water after the child slipped into his exhibit. On June 16, 2016, a man was arrested and charged with sexual assault after police found 12 girls ranging from six months to 18 years in his home.
All of these dates and events have something in common: they were all on the news. Most people who watch the news probably knew about these events and they became the topic of some heart wrenching and life evaluating dinner conversation, which is expected because they were such shocking events.
Did you also know that on June 15, 2016, Disney World donated $1 million to the victims of the Orlando shooting? Or maybe that on June 10, 2016, a veteran with no known relatives had over 150 people show up to her funeral, most of them being complete strangers? Or that on June 16, 2016, police officers showed up to an autistic boys birthday party? Or on June 18, 2016, a mom in Colorado saved her son from a mountain lion attack?
I'm sure you didn't. What stinks is that my search to find good news that was happening in the world was much more difficult than finding the bad news that plagues our screens every day. I literally had to type in "good news in the U.S." into Google to come up with some of these results.
Some people choose not to watch the news and news watchers may consider that ignorant, but did you ever think it could be a form of self-preservation? I mean come on, have you ever turned on the news and felt great about your state, your town or the people that inhabit the world? The news is depressing, simple as that. So maybe those who don't watch the news should not be considered uneducated but maybe they are sick of hearing about all the destruction that is happening. Maybe they want to hold on to a little sliver of hope because if you watch the news it’s hard to have hope for this world.
We all seek answers to why these atrocities are happening; we turn to the news and the media as the source of information. Unfortunately, news broadcasters who claim to know so much are equally flummoxed. They can state their opinions and make their guesses on who should win the 2016 election or what would make the world a safer place to live in but when it comes down to it no one knows the answers. They are just as clueless as we all are. I guess what bothers me the most about the news is that they will cover these hugely popular stories for about a week or so, but then it will be history. Sure the story may come up in the following year when we remember those who lost their lives, but the tragedies that occurred will just be silent whispers.
I'm not suggesting that these events should not be reported because we deserve the right to know what is going on in society. Maybe, though, we can deliver more uplifting news to let civilization know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that there is still good in this beautiful world we live in.