Arizona office shooting, Hadiya Pendleton shooting, Atlanta school shooting—Is this the new normal?
In less than a week there were shootings at an Arizona office complex, at a park in Chicago and at a school in Atlanta. Earlier this week I wrote about the tragic death of Hadiya Pendleton. Hadiya was shot to death in broad daylight as she visited the local park with some friends. She had just come back from participating in the inaugural ceremony before President Obama. Her death marked another senseless death that has unfortunately become much too common in the city of Chicago. There were 42 homicides in Chicago in the month of January alone.
After the Sandy Hook tragedy I thought our schools would be on high alert. I didn’t think we would see another school shooting, at least not a couple of months later. I was wrong. In Atlanta , a 14-year-old boy was shot in the head outside his school. In Arizona, a deranged individual shot three people at an office complex. He would later commit suicide. All this happening as Mark Kelly, husband of Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, is speaking before the Senate that gun reform must be immediately enacted.
10 days ago there was a shooting at a Lone Star college campus. 2 days prior to that a troubled teen shot and killed his family in New Mexico. On Christmas Eve, two brave firefighters were killed in an ambush set up by a mad man. Acts of gun violence have become commonplace.
Brad Plummer, Washington Post , writes that there has been at least one mass shooting since 2009. FBI researchers found some commonalities in these shootings.
- Mass shootings have occurred at a rate of about one per month since 2009.
- Yet mass shootings are still a tiny portion of overall gun deaths.
- Assault weapons are used in a minority of mass shootings—but those incidents were much deadlier. About 3 more deaths on average.
- Few mental-health red flags came up before most of the shootings.
- Domestic violence played a role in 40% of mass shootings.
- At least 11 of the shooters were prohibited from owning guns.
- About 1/3 of the shootings took place in gun-free zones.
The research substantiates that solving the gun violence epidemic in this country is truly a terribly, multi-faceted task. Banning assault weapons as Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has recently proposed is a good start, but it doesn’t outright solve the problem. Unless this country seriously passes reforms to at the minimum vastly reduce the number of gun-related deaths then it is unfortunate to say but these events will become the new normal.
I’d argue that they in fact have become the new normal. I was watching the evening news the night of the Atlanta shooting and the program didn’t even mention the shooting. How does that not get national attention? Is it because only one person was shot? I think it’s sadly because these shootings have become normal, almost daily events. We literally can’t go more than a week without some type of shooting.
Children aren’t even safe on the school bus as evidenced by the recent kidnapping of an autistic child by a lunatic who killed the bus driver as he tried to stop him. The man still has the boy captive in an underground bunker that he created in Alabama. There are shootings at schools. At office buildings. At movie theaters. At temples of worship. At hair salons. I could go on and on.
When did this become normal?
When did society become so complacent that it wouldn’t address these issues that seemingly are progressively becoming worse?
So I ask you, is this the new normal? And if so, WHY?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate