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A Growing Desensitization to Gun Violence School shootings have become normalized in recent years, we need to draw attention to these tragedies

BY ANNIE CHRISTMAN writer

According to recent data from the US Naval Postgraduate School, there were 94 school gun violence incidents in 2018. How many were publicized to the students that could be at risk? It might seem like 2018 was a pretty peaceful year compared to recent years. On the contrary in fact, 2018 was the worst year on record for gun violence in schools. Fifty five innocent people lost their lives due to gun violence in schools this year, breaking the record of 1993 which was 40 deaths. (Vox 18) Yet, the media and the general public seem to be harboring a strange silence, or even total ignorance to this epidemic, which is a matter of national crisis. Of course, the issue gained fair attention back in February following the deaths of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The gun debate mounted the national stage again and with even more fervor during the March For Our Lives. The march is a movement motivated by young people who were directly impacted by the culture of the gun

particular issue following the Parkland shooting. The other 93 school gun violence incidents completely evaded the attention of the public for the better part of the year. America experienced the highest rates of gun violence in schools in history in 2018, yet it seems to me that Americans have satiated their taste for violence, and have exhausted themselves into apathy. Americans have become disgustingly desensitized to the issue of gun violence. Those other lives that were lost due to gun violence in

“How can these horrors be taking place en masse in our country and we look the other way? How have we let this become the new normal?” violence threatening the sanctity and safety of educational spaces across the country. Despite the initial attention paid to the march and other protests, the discussion lost momentum and fizzled out fast with little to no resolve or address. It seems that the public was quick to lose interest in this

The Bruin January 23, 2019

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schools this year were no less valuable or tragic than those lost in high-profile shootings such as Sandy Hook or Parkland. Highly publicized shootings were no more indicative of a social epidemic that demands solvency in the interest of this generation, and future generations of school-aged

children. So why is it that the shootings that took place this year failed to motivate actual change, and increasingly reasonable outrage? Have we really become so gorged on this violence that our hearts are hardened against the tragedy? The innocent child, murdered whilst trying to learn. The mother and father whose broken hearts will never be healed. The student who will never view the halls of their school the same way because of the violence they witnessed there. How can these horrors be taking place en masse in our country and we look the other way? How have we let this become the new normal? Critics of the March for Our Lives movement claimed that the students who helped to organize it were “seeking attention,” as if attention wasn’t due. These critics, as well as an increasingly-passive public, were motivated by an implicit wish to not have to hear about the gross realities that their neighbors faced. Hearing the stories of horrific tragedy just might disrupt their blissful ignorance and demand them to embrace their human drives to empathy, and maybe even do something about it. I agree that the organizers of the movement were in fact seeking attention. But I also believe that they were justified in doing so. Whenever an innocent child is murdered in cold blood while trying to receive an education, I believe attention, national attention, attention that fuels a discussion, fuels change, is warranted. No matter which side of the gun debate you stand on, every time someone dies due to gun violence in schools, for the sake of our country, our children, our future, and our humanity, it deserves our attention.

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McMinnville High School, Issue#3, 2019  

McMinnville High School

McMinnville High School, Issue#3, 2019  

McMinnville High School

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