There is no apathy toward mass shootings

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

We know what the aftermath of a mass shooting looks like.

Not the carnage on the ground–most of us, thankfully, won’t have a point of reference to imagine the horrors that await first responders–but the debates that follow.


Undoubtedly, the debate over guns, gun rights, and anything else associated with such an incident will rage on our television screens, computer monitors, and the pages of our favorite and least-favorite publications. It will be a thing for some time.

And also undoubtedly, we’ll have people who think they have an understanding of what’s happening, only to show their profound ignorance. (What follows the block quote will be addressed toward the author of this…piece.)

Just this week, a horrific mass shooting at Michigan State University shocked the nation and rocked our campus, as many have friends and relatives attending the nearby university. Its close proximity and the hours-long “shelter-in-place” order had many feeling anxious, confused and angry. But most significantly, the feeling of loss was overwhelming: the lives of Brian Fraser, Alexandria Verner and Arielle Anderson were taken in the shooting and will forever be memorialized by the community of East Lansing and our own. Such events also remind us of the constant threat of gun violence, and should be considered yet another instance of why we must overcome the mental, ideological and political barriers preventing this nation from working towards a solution.

Following just one catastrophic mass shooting, the governments of Germany and New Zealand acted swiftly and decisively to curb the possibility of such an event happening again, by reviewing and greatly strengthening their gun control legislation. The United States is far beyond the point of one catastrophic shooting. With dozens of such shootings in its history, it is clear that lawmakers and the public are becoming dangerously apathetic to the tragedy of such events, and are unwilling to exercise their power as a lawmaking body to readily craft decisive solutions which may curb the swelling tide of gun violence in our country. The fact that thousands of people died over a 20 year period without Congress passing any significant gun reform legislation is absolutely shameful. It represents a phenomenon of inaction and apathy towards gun violence which rightfully has no representation in any other legislature in the world, and should cease to have a place in the United States.


You think we’re apathetic toward shootings? You think we’re numb to the carnage, horror, and loss that transpires?

Who the hell do you think you are?

Unlike you, I’m not someone who sees mass shootings as a news event, something to feel sorrow over in an abstract way. Literally every report of a mass shooting sends me back to a point nearly 11 years ago when I found out that one of the dearest people in the world to me was killed by a maniac because his preferred coffee shop didn’t want to serve his creepy butt anymore.

Every report of a mass shooting reminds me of that feeling. It reminds me of breaking down in my office, of crumpling on the floor with grief, unable to form words either on my lips or even in my mind.

I am anything but apathetic to these horrors, and how dare you insinuate that anyone on this side of the gun debate is. Especially since my grief at the news of someone being killed in such a shooting pales in comparison to those who stand with me who lost their mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters to such horrors.

We’re not apathetic. We just don’t agree that gun control is the right path forward or that it even works.

Look to California, for example, which saw three mass shootings in the most gun-controlled state in the nation in the span of just 44 hours.

If gun control didn’t work there, why should we assume it will work elsewhere?

That feeling isn’t apathy, sir. It’s a simple matter of looking at these facts and reaching a conclusion that there has to be a better way than infringing on people’s rights for a solution that doesn’t actually stop such horrors from happening.


The truth is that no one really feels apathy toward shootings in general or mass shootings in particular. We’re just not going to let people like you emotionally blackmail us into supporting measures we don’t think will do anything but ultimately cost more lives than they might potentially save.

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