Something too familiar

Mass murders are becoming too familiar and society needs to change this norm.

Devastation and destruction seem to be the running themes in the United States with the increase of mass death. I was born in 1999 and, since then, I have lived through numerous mass shootings, terrorist attacks or traumatic events that have happened in the United States. Though my heart aches for the people and families that are affected, I have come to realize that I am not surprised anymore.

I am not surprised when I go on Twitter before I go to bed and learn that there has been yet another shooting, mass murder or terrorist attack added to the previous mass shootings, terrorist scare,  or attack that has happened.

When I came to the realization, I informed my parents and they were shocked and upset because they thought I had no compassion and it makes complete sense. From the moment I could comprehend words and things, there were always too many traumatic events.

It is a harsh reality that our generation has come to face. The ongoing conventional meetings and conferences regarding gun control keep rising every year.

I’m not going to delve into  gun control, but I think there is nothing we can do except put more regulations on gun owners. The right to bear arms is in our Constitution , so the founding fathers believed it was an essential right for Americans, but no matter what the decision is on guns they will still exist. Mass shootings and or terrorist attacks can still happen at any given moment.

The most murderous events I have lived through have shaped our society and communities.

I do not remember the incident of 9/11 because I was just two years old, however I still remember, to this day, every single year following the attacks. The pain, anguish and the memories that I see on the people’s faces that lived through 9/11 makes me feel a strong sense of patriotism.

Another event that I have lived through that was devastating was the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. For me this was the most pivotal shooting I have experienced. It made me realize that even though I lived in the Orange County bubble, there was hatred and fear in the world. It opened my eyes to the severity of guns and weaponry; I could be the next victim at any school if regulations don’t change.

From that point I started to become less and less surprised of the mass murders that would follow.

In 2016, the Orlando shooting was another devastation to all. I felt the pain for the LGBTQ community. The numerous people that died were innocent and did not have the chance to protect themselves.  This shooting was an act of hatred. However I was still unsurprised at the all too familiar headline that includes the words, “mass shooting.”

Recently in October and November,  the Las Vegas shooting and the Texas church shooting has happened. I continually am asking myself on why mass murders keeps happening? It seems like every month I am praying to God, asking the same questions and praying for the people affected.

There will always be hate, disagreements and devastation in the world, but we have the opportunity to make a difference. As a Catholic community, we have the power of prayer and the values to ask God for forgiveness and support to everyone that has been affected. As a Catholic community, we also need to focus on the population in its entirety , rather than just a face or group of people.

Compassion is lacking in our society because we have become accustomed to traumatic events. The emotional toll of processing mass murders, terrorist attacks and divisive rhetoric is overwhelming.  We are the people, one humanity and we must change this “norm” of mass murders to protect the generations to come.