Dulled to death; Importance of attachment

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Our country may bolster bustling cities, turquoise beaches, and snow-capped mountains, but beyond the Empire State Building and crowds at Ocean City, violence in the United States is everywhere. One of the scariest, most unpredictable acts of violence are mass shootings.
According to the Washington Post, since 1966, 1,135 human beings have lost their lives due to mass shootings. That’s 1,135 people with lives to be lived; mountains to climb, cancers to cure, and people to love. All of those bright faces excited about the possibility of their future now lie in caskets as a result of gun violence.
For many of us, these 1,135 faces are only seen in pictures on the news, not in cherished memories. Other people aren’t so distant; each and every person killed was a daughter, son, husband, wife, brother, sister, niece, nephew, cousin, and friend.
Every new incident leads to more flags at half staff, more adults and children being buried too young, and more heartbroken families left behind. The saddest part isn’t just that these horrific incidents have happened, but that they continue to happen. Why? Why is this that no significant change has been made to change policies and people’s mindsets?
Seeing another mass shooting headline come across the front of a newspaper or a phone screen isn’t getting the same reaction. The shootings seem distant, impossible to ever affect one of us. Why should we pay attention?
Lock down drills aren’t even taken seriously. When the announcement comes over the loudspeaker, no one stays out of view from the windows, lights aren’t turned off, teaching continues on as normal. Maybe teachers don’t want their class interrupted. But, that won’t matter if they don’t have a class to teach.
When discussing the recent shooting in California at dinner, my younger sister mentioned how a young boy in her class punched his friend to get to the front of the line, and wasn’t reprimanded. If kids in elementary school aren’t punished for punching one another over something so small and insignificant, the pattern will continue, and escalate.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 309 mass shootings as of November 12th. As another mass shooting happens every couple of days, violence is starting to be viewed as normal.
A significant amount of strain is placed on a person’s emotions when dealing with constant loss. To cope with frequent loss, we start to turn our emotions off, prevent ourselves from getting attached. When a family member, friend, or loved pet is nearing the end, it’s so much easier to be removed from the situation, pretend we aren’t sad, put on a strong front and pretend that losing something we love is completely normal. The truth is, losing something we love is not normal, it just happens so very much.
As soon as we start getting attached, to a friend, a family member, a pet, we are told to be careful, distance ourselves, prepare for the inevitable loss of their presence from our life. That is the problem.
Instead of distancing ourselves from other humans, we should be making connections, being kinder to one another, bringing out the best in people. If more people realized they had someone who believed in them, they might not be driven to the point of violence to get attention and more people would take these deaths personally.
Now, I’m not saying being kind is going to save the world. But, just remember it is perfectly okay to get attached, to want someone in your life, and to love other people. Losing someone you love may hurt. But, part of living is feeling your emotions.
We have to do our best to not become dull to the death that keeps happening, we should take it personally, even if we didn’t know the people that died. If mass shootings have happened to someone, they can happen to everyone. And, it’s our responsibility as human beings, as the future of the country we all love, to reduce the violence, and not be quite so dull to death.

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