Tuesday, April 30, 2019

What's Your Threshold?

Hardly a day passes without some mass shooting in America. The memorable shootings tend to involve mass mayhem - bodies everywhere. Schools get our attention whether a university, high school or elementary but especially elementary schools. Virginia Tech (33 dead/23 wounded, Stoneman Douglas High, Parkland (17/17), Sandy Hook elementary (28/2) stand out along with the University of Texas tower shooting (18/31) and Columbine (15/21) but, beyond that, few are remembered except locally.

Today it's the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, with two dead and four wounded, two critically.  That, I suppose, will last a news cycle, maybe two and then - whoosh - straight down that indispensable Memory Hole.

The fact is it's impossible to remember them all. I suspect most of them pass with a shrug. Not the Las Vegas massacre (58 dead/422 wounded) the record holder, or the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando (49/53) plus the shooter.

In Canada the worst in the modern era was the Ecole Polythechnique massacre of 1989 where the gunman attacked women, killing 14 and wounding another 14 before killing himself. Then there was the 2014 Edmonton killings where Phu Lam killed 8 before taking his own life the following day.  We've had our share but nothing that rises to the level of the American experience.

These mass killings, through the promiscuity of their repetition, seem to dull our emotions. Whereas there once might have been outrage or at least shock, most of these things are becoming Page 3 stories.

Tell me, do you even bother reading these reports any longer? Do they still have a terrible impact on you or are you too numbed to them?


Trailblazer said...

These mass killings, through the promiscuity of their repetition, seem to dull our emotions.

Too true on many issues!

We seem to have become become incapable of rational thought .
Maybe it's information overload, maybe it's the dulling of the brain through TV , mass media or social media; whatever it is we have become incapable of adding 2 plus 2.
Worse yet is that we don't wish to change


bcwaterboy said...

We've come to expect mass shooting stories out of the US and they have lost shock value. The good news is that the Parkland students (note to the boomers, it took young people to start rattling some chains on sensible gun control) have exerted enough pressure to cause some chaos in the NRA. The stranglehold of the NRA and the stupidity around the second amendment will probably mean some token measures but not to the level of keeping high powered weapons out of the hands of those who seek to do the most damage. It will happen again and easily surpass Vegas. Commander in chief is too stupid to call it white nationalist terrorism.

The Mound of Sound said...

It is dispiriting, isn't it? Unless some mass shooting rises to the level of massacre (as that term is currently understood) it's pretty much "meh." What have we become?