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December 3, 2015

Two Mass Shootings in 24 Hours: Welcome to Our New Normal.

Renegade98/Flickr

At least 14 people are dead in yet another mass shooting, this time in San Bernardino, California.

At least 17 more were injured , as two gunman opened fire on a holiday party at a southern California social services center. Ten of the 17 injured were taken to the hospital in critical condition.

The suspects, dressed in military style clothing, fled in a dark-colored SUV. Police later engaged in a shoot out after the SUV was found, killing one male and one female suspect. A third person, who was seen fleeing the scene, was detained. It is unclear yet if this person was an accomplice or not.

These people came prepared to do what they did as if they were on a mission,” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said. “They were armed with long guns, not with handguns.”  

An eyewitness said the gunfire erupted in a conference room where the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health was holding a banquet.

Beyond that officials do not yet have a motive, but the suspected shooters have been identified. The FBI, ATF and San Bernardino bomb squad were on hand assisting local authorities with clearing the area and searching for leads and clues as to what drove this attack.

What not many people have heard is that this is the second mass shooting in 24 hours, as earlier Wednesday morning a gunman in Savannah, Ga., shot four people, killing a woman and injuring three men. No arrests have been made.

Is this becoming the norm? Four people shot and it barely gets a news story?

Do we need casualties to hit double digits before a shooting receives any real media attention?

This is a wound to my heart. What is our media covering if not this? I bet I could find out more information on Donald Trump or Kim Kardashian than I can on these shootings.

I hate to think that we are becoming desensitized to these events if they don’t rate high enough on the casualty meter. Last week President Obama stated this type of violence “must not become normal.” But I can’t help but feel as though it already has.

Hilary Clinton responded with, “I refuse to accept this as normal. We must take action to stop gun violence now” in a tweet. I agree with Hilary, but where do we begin?

In a time where the loudest Americans—those on each extreme end of the political belief spectrum—are fueling intolerance and squabbling between parties, we can’t seem to get anything useful accomplished.

Not even a week after a lone gunman shot up a Planned Parenthood clinic in the name of extremist religious beliefs, I can’t help but wonder if America is indeed witnessing a rising trend of hate fueled domestic terrorism. The fact that three suspects were working together to coordinate this attack rules out the unstable, lone-wolf categorization in my mind.

This is the worst mass shooting since Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, almost three years ago. No matter what stance you take on gun control, you can’t argue facts, and the fact is this: gun violence is on the rise in America.

While Americans argue with one another and point fingers at Muslims and refugees, we don’t even realize that our own sense of safety is being stolen from us by home-grown terror threats. 

The FBI classifies mass shootings as “at least four people struck by a bullet in the same attack.” According to that data, there have been 355 mass shootings in 2015 alone. In America, we have five percent of the worlds population, but serve as the attack site for 31 percent of the world’s public mass shooters.

This is what officials need to pay attention to, when arguing incessantly over gun control. I by no means think that this is a simple issue to find an answer to, but something must be done.

Unless we want a society where we must walk around armed to feel safe, we must take action now.

I’m an American and I want my freedom—and freedom to me is not being forced to be armed to feel safe.

Let’s think about that.

 

Relephant read:

What Are We Doing to Each Other?

 

Author: Lindsay Carricarte

Editor: Nicole Cameron

Image: Renegade98/Flickr

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