Mass shootings are no longer surprising

On April 20, 1999, the Columbine High School massacre rocked the nation. The wrath that was unleashed by a pair of tormented teenagers sent shockwaves throughout America. At the time, it was the deadliest school shooting and one of the ten deadliest mass shootings. As of this week, that is no longer the case.

Just a few days ago, twenty-seven lives were taken when a gunman opened fire on a Baptist church in the small town of Sutherland Springs, Texas. This is not the only murder spree that has transpired over the past several weeks. In October, fifty-eight people died during the Las Vegas shooting.

Columbine was the first mass shooting in nearly eight years that had more than ten casualties. Seven years had passed before another occurred. Today, a gap that large seems unimaginable.

Turning on the news and hearing about such a catastrophic event taking place used to be surprising. Now, it seems as though mass shootings have become just another headline and that is absolutely terrifying. Our reaction has gone from “I can’t believe this!” to “Here we go again.”

We’ve become desensitized to murder. When tragedy strikes, we take to social media to express our sorrow and offer condolences, then carry about our days. Public officials are guilty of this as well. They are quick to extend their useless thoughts and prayers, but little action is taken to prevent gun violence.

Instead of tasking our best minds to solve the problem, all most people choose to do is debate about gun control and the Second Amendment. Arguing doesn’t change anything. Each life lost is further proof of that. We need to find a different approach that will lead us towards a solution.

If we continue down the ill-fated path we’ve been following, the news cycle will inevitably change and we’ll move on to another topic. And then a horrific massacre will happen again. And again.