Why I Wish I Was Still Shocked By Gun Violence
NOTE: I wrote this piece 6 months ago after seeing another shooting in a long line of many over the past few years. I didn’t post it then. I’m posting it now.
On Wednesday, I went to see the new Jeremy Renner film ‘The Bourne Legacy.’ I was sceptical, because I am a big fan of the other Bourne films starring Matt Damon. I was actually pleasantly surprised. It was quite good.
What didn’t surprise me was a mass killing shown within the film, where a man enters a lab and shoots his co-workers dead in a fit of apparent madness.
Later in the film, I catch myself wincing when a needle is stuck into someone’s arm. So okay- nobody likes needles. But looking back, my reaction towards the gun violence compared with the needle was ridiculously blasé; I’d seen it all before.
I wish, wish, wish I was still shocked by gun violence.
Today, I read on the news that 2 people have died outside the Empire State Building; a man shot his ex co-worker and was then brought down by the police. A few weeks ago, there was a mass killing in a Wisconsin temple where 6 people were shot in their place of worship. Last month, a man walked into a midnight screening of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and shot 13 people. A year ago, a man who was today sentenced to life imprisonment gunned down 77 young people on a small island just outside of Oslo.
Separately, these incidents might not mean much. When dealing with people and guns, sometimes you’re going to get a loose canon. You can’t prevent things that aren’t a certainty. Not everyone who owns a gun has it with the intent to kill.
Can we truly rationalise these events in this way anymore?
After the shooting in Denver, the number of firearm applications in the state increased by more than 40 per cent.
It seems clear to me that gun violence is going to get much worse before it gets better. How many more times will I turn on the television to see a school or cinema or church roped off with police tape?
Nowadays, you can’t use the excuse that they are just isolated incidents.
We need to see the bigger picture. We need to make a stand.
I hope that America leads the way and revises the second amendment.