In the wake of yet another mass shooting, society has come together once again to share a moment of silence for the fallen. But with the consistent rise of gun violence throughout the country, the question of desensitization has become part of the conversation.
Has silence become the new form of justice?
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been a total of 298 mass shootings this year alone. The frequency of gun violence is so high that the likelihood of knowing a gun violence victim over a lifetime is 99.85 percent, according to the report.
With the possibility of becoming a victim or knowing one being so tangible, it is safe to say that something has to give.
“I’m upset because they [the government] put weapons before they do the people, and many feel it’s OK that the government does this because it’s in their favor,” said Ceryle Poole, a junior political science major at Florida A&M University.
When asked how she felt about the statistical facts, Poole replied, “it’s very heartbreaking, but not surprising because our government has done nothing to stop gun violence in this country.”
For Gabriella Betancourt, a senior English and film major at Florida State University, this is not just a statistic; this was a reality that she had to face. “I’m from Orlando and my family’s home is a 20-minute drive from where the Pulse nightclub shooting happened. Turns out one of my former classmates from Valencia was shot and lost their life.”
Betancourt said the Strozier library shooting that took place on FSU’s campus in 2014 really unsettled her. “It’s something that’s not my tragedy, but not my comfort because it hit close to home.”
Notions like these are mirrored throughout the country as many mourn the 11 lives that were lost Saturday at the synagogue in Pittsburgh. According to CBS news, it was “considered the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history,” when 46-year-old Robert Bowers is reported to have opened fire in the Tree of Life Congregation.
Less than a week later, a school shooting took place at David W. Butler High School in Matthews, N.C.
It is clear that the epidemic that is gun violence does not plan on slowing down anytime soon. It is with a heavy heart that many hope that their tears can be met with action to lead to a change.