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May 26, 2022

Nonaction & Mass Shootings: I am Angry. I Hope you are Too.

Right now, I am angry.

Right now, government officials are lowering their flags to half staff.

Right now, countless observers are offering up their thoughts and prayers.

Right now, some might be observing a moment of silence.

The United States has had over 200 mass shootings already this year, averaging 10 per week. Police officers in this country have killed 219 people so far this year (that number has likely increased in the time it took to complete this article). More than one million people have died from COVID-19 in the United States since the start of the pandemic.

How do you put one million people into a tangible context?

Think about a college football stadium filled to capacity with cheering fans. Nearby Ohio Stadium holds just over 100,000 people. Now imagine every single occupant of that stadium suddenly dropping dead. Then imagine this also simultaneously happens in an additional nine stadiums.

It’s unfathomable.

Remember that when college football kicks off this fall.

Is one million still too large of a number to grasp? How about just 10? While watching the NBA Finals, imagine all 10 competitors on the floor, abruptly perishing before your eyes. That would be shocking to witness. There is a grief-stricken community in Buffalo that can attest to that.

Think back to your elementary school days. The average classroom probably housed about 20 kids. You might even be able to conjure up images of their faces from the recesses of your memory.

Now wipe the image completely because they’re gone. Nineteen innocent unsuspecting children were stricken down in a Texas classroom. Try just counting to one. One man was killed in a mass shooting at a California church, defending an elderly congregation.

Society is so numb to preventable death and prevalent hatred that indifference has become socially acceptable. The general public is desensitized to the loss of human life.

Solutions lean toward reaction rather than prevention. Churches now might have to lock their doors during communal worship or hire armed guards.

Average citizens may feel the need to arm themselves any time they shop for groceries or dare to take in a movie or a concert. Pundits will argue whether it’s about gun control or mental health. Some news outlets are shifting to opinion-based reporting rather than fact-based knowledge. Reporters still refer to a shooter as an “alleged” assailant even after he live-streamed his attack for the world to see.

Meanwhile, the innocent bystanders are left to decipher what to do with their grief before they get forgotten in the next news cycle.

You can keep your flags perpetually lowered, to mourn another preventable death.

You can offer empty platitudes to relieve yourself of your nonaction. You can remain silent.

But I won’t.

I refuse to give in to complacency, dissociation, or acceptance.

I am angry.


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