The troubling desensitization of violence in a tragic age

desensitization of shootings

ART BY TIFFANY CHAN

By ADRIAN HERNANDEZ
STAFF WRITER

 Throughout history, people have been horrified at the sight of wars or mass shootings.

Appalling events have happened this year: school shootings, bomb threats in and hate crimes. When we see these headlines for the first time, panic and fear strike our hearts. However, because these tragedies occur so frequently, many of us no longer feel frustrated at the awful incidents happening in our society.

 Take, for example, the Vietnam War. After a televised broadcast of the war,  U.S. citizens were horrified at the sight of the miserable soldiers and mistreated natives. In response, the public zealously protested against the horrid war. Even with the government’s unwillingness at first, the public was able to end U.S. involvement in the war and bring the soldiers home.

 However, with the frequent occurrences of tragedies in this nation, most of us do not feel as shocked as the American citizens during the Vietnam era. As of Oct. 4., there have been 65 school shootings in 2018. Evidently, as tragedy after tragedy occurs, we become increasingly unaware of violence.

 Although many initially expressed their rage and sorrow at these terrible circumstances, their emotions are short-lived. Most people are used to violence happening so often that it prevents emotional support towards the victims and real rage towards the assailant.     

 An article from Livestrong.com titled “How Violence in Television Shows Desensitizes Children” states that children who are constantly exposed to violence in the media and television will be less empathetic towards others. This certainly draws parallels among adults. As adults watch the nation embroiled in mass murders, their apathetic attitudes increase as they become more desensitized.

 Consequently, multiple people do not regard violence as a problem. However, could you imagine yourself living amidst constant sounds of explosions, gunfire and screams? Most people have only encountered a simulation of these dreadful scenarios on their television screen. Yet, this is an inescapable reality for the soldiers in active war zones such as in Iraq or Afghanistan. While the common man may overlook the violent acts in the Middle East, it becomes a problem when human lives are involved. If another war were to happen, we would care less about those at war because it does not affect them.

 It is important to realize that violence is real, and it affects the lives of many. While it may not explicitly affect you at this moment, violence is a big issue in other countries which could translate into our country if we are not careful. So, it is time to break out of the bubble of carelessness, and face the world for what it is.

 In an era of violence, we should work towards the goal of a safer nation to ensure our safety. We do not want to be in a position where something terrible happens and we get over it in a few days. If we do not do act, then our nation is doomed to remain desensitized to the actions that harm us.

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