Wake Up

Ellie Matson, Staff Writer

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The devastating mass shooting on February 14th took the lives of 17 innocent students, yet left our community desensitized with little surprise. It was shocking to walk into school on the 15th and hear little to no conversations about the deaths even from some of my teachers. Most students and even adults have become desensitized to shootings such as the one at Parkland High due to the frequency they occur. People need to put themselves into the shoes of these victims and show more sympathy towards their losses.   

Hearing about this massacre devastated me in a way I cannot describe. Yet devastation was not my only reaction. I felt extremely disappointed and angry in the way others in my school environment responded to the tragedy. Junior Grace Dunham stated, “I believe some students and teachers are down playing the severity of the shooting, and it would be extremely different if the victims were ones they personally knew.”  

According to Brian Resnick, a psychologist who explores human reaction to tragedy, “as the number of victims in a tragedy increases, our empathy, our willingness to do something, reliably decreases.” Resnick is referring to the process of psychic numbing, which describes how tragedies transform into abstractions in our minds. The first time a tragedy occurs it really hurts and the struggle to overcome it is very difficult. As this tragedy reoccurs, the sympathy and sensitivity gradually decrease.  

On average, mass shootings occur more than once a day, leaving four or more people wounded or dead in the United States. Have you ever turned on your TV, saw a shooting and changed the channel? Many people are so used to seeing or hearing these kinds of things that they allow themselves to ignore it and carry on with their daily lives. 

For me, this is not the case. Imagine your classmate or even a good friend lying unconscious or dead next to you. This overwhelming and traumatic image would stay with you forever and could even cause you to become depressed. People do not realize the severity of an issue until it hits them straight in the face. I wish everyone would open their eyes and see that this is really happening, and these innocent lives that were taken could have very well been your peers.  

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