by Anjali Verma 20′
Some things should never be challenged. For example, freedom of speech, or the safety of children in schools, or of people in a house of worship, or young people dancing in a bar. The year 2018 has been filled with what seems like a never-ending cycle of shootings. In today’s politically charged climate, young people have been questioning gun laws, speaking their truths about the detrimental results stemming from the use of guns. However, the question is whether the prevalence of gun violence is drowning out these voices.
Desensitization has weaved its way into many Americans’ response to gun violence. Desensitization is defined as the diminished emotional responsiveness to a negative, aversive or positive stimulus after repeated exposure. The United States has swallowed some tough pills recently including the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting of October 27 leaving 11 dead, the Thousand Oaks shooting of November 7 leaving 12 dead, the Las Vegas shooting in October 2017 leaving 59 dead, the Texas church shooting in November 2017 leaving at least 26 dead. Do we even remember those? It almost seems as if these events get lost, are forgotten, dwelled on for a few days, but then, we move on. America becomes distracted, yet again, by more trauma, more terror. The occurrences pass us by because we don’t even notice the monstrosity of sorrow in each event. Our sympathy is short-lived. It has come to a point where the shock level of death and the shock level of a mass shooting doesn’t rise high enough to trigger the action we should be taking. This repeated exposure to that horror has caused apathy all across the country.
In the wake of all of these incidents, enough is enough. These shootings have become routine, they have been something that doesn’t even surprise us anymore. This cannot be okay. We must stop and take time to mourn but also use our voices to ensure change. Guns, especially ones like the AR-15, are not necessary to the majority of Americans. We need stricter gun laws. We should not become desensitized to more than 307 mass shootings in just 2018 alone.