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Editorial: America Desensitized To School Shootings

by Shaina Blakesley and Patrick Gustavson

Think about this: how many school shootings are too many? One? Two? Maybe only three a year?

The answer is one. One school shooting is one too many.

23 days into 2018 and there have already been 11 shootings that took place at schools.

Regardless of how many lives lost, or bodies injured, the fact that someone was driven to the type of madness warranted to potentially kill others demonstrates a fatal flaw in either society as a whole or the school environment.

On Jan. 23, the close-knit community of Benton, Kentucky was devastated by a shooting at a high school that resulted in the loss of two students and 21 others injured.

This most recent carnage is another sobering reminder of the issue regarding gun violence in the United States. According to Campus Safety Magazine, a recent study illustrated the haunting statistic that shootings on college campuses are at an incline.

Even President Donald Trump waited more than 24 hours to comment on his sorrow for the lives lost and the community that was in havoc. In the meantime, Trump had the time to tweet about text messages between the FBI and immigration.

In juxtaposition, Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, tweeted his condolences and even went as far as to call Kentucky’s governor the same day.

This poses an even greater and broader issue. As both the American media and public grow more numb to this type of violence, the rest of the world still has their senses concerning these misfortunes.

Anytime an innocent life is lost at the hands of senseless violence is a cataclysm. It has reached a point that, in the U.S., these incidents are no longer tragedies that warrant national grieving, but rather are commonplace occurrences.

Though each shooting did receive minor coverage from a major news outlet, none of them gained any type of major traction. Why might this be?

Perhaps it was due to the outcome. The Kentucky shooting was among just two shootings, this year, that resulted in a death at the hands of another human.

The other took place at Wake Forest University on Jan. 20, where a student was shot and killed during a Delta Sigma Theta sorority party.

Two of the school shooting casualties were the result of deaths by suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, one of them taking place at a Colorado elementary school.

In the majority of the situations, the victim was not seriously injured, or no one was injured at all.

According to Everytown Research, there have been 284 school shootings in America since 2013. That averages to be about one per week. There most certainly have not been that many major news stories regarding these tragedies.

Could it be that the media desires more bloodshed and adversity before there is a major news story or more than minimized coverage?

The most reasonable answer could be that we have simply grown numb to school shootings. We are no longer surprised by children’s lives being in danger in what should be a safe place for learning. Unless it is large scale with multiple casualties, it is deemed as just another school shooting.

But it is not. All school shootings, regardless of the death toll, certainly should come as a surprise and should warrant public outcry. They should be plastered all over the front page of every news source on every media outlet.