December 11, 2018
  • 3:00 pm Sundance Winner Documentary Comes to Campus
  • 8:00 am CSUDH Music And Dance Department Offer Winter Concerts This Weekend
  • 4:03 pm Surpassing the Inevitable
  • 4:00 pm Former Toro Baller Made His Mark Over 7,200 Miles Away
  • 2:30 pm Prepare to Relive Your Childhood

It starts off like any other day. Your alarm rings, you roll over in bed to stop the incessant beeping on your phone and then your world shifts a little. Your chest tightens your stomach drops and you have a sudden feeling of panic that makes your mind move so fast that it’s dizzying, but at the same time your world is at a standstill.

The notification on your phone details another mass shooting. As you read on you realize that it happened at a bar in a college town. The same college town where one of your friends lives. The bar’s name causes you to stop breathing altogether because you know that your friends frequent that bar every Wednesday night.

At this point, you’ve lived through this before, after waking up to reports of the mass shooting in Las Vegas last year. It’s not any easier the second time around.

You finally receive news that your friends were the lucky ones who on a whim decision decided not to go out that tragic night, but as your fear subsides you remember that the worst fears of the friends and families of 12 other people turned into a reality that night.

It wasn’t someone you knew. It wasn’t you yourself. But it could be you the next time and with the way things are going in this country right now, there will be a next time.

It’s omniscient of a popular quote by Martin Niemoller following the Holocaust.

“First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left – to speak out for me.”

Most of the time we only care when it directly affects us. It’s not enough to just feel sad. It never was. Tragedy hits America time and time again and while we express empathy, we allow it to happen again.

We thought we would never forget Columbine in 1999. Then came Virginia Tech in 2007 and Sandy Hook in 2012. Pulse Night Club followed in 2016 and then the First Baptist Church and Route 91 in 2017. The Parkland shooting happened this year even though it feels like a distant memory. And most recently, the shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

This list doesn’t even come close to naming all of the tragedies we’ve experienced.

Why are we still left in shock every time this happens?

We do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Tragedy occurs, we mourn and then we forget.

While everyone argues over if mental health or guns in America is the bigger issue, people keep dying. Newsflash, the answer is they both are and if we don’t do anything about it, this will keep happening. We are going to live in a world where the probability of being a witness, or worse, involved in a mass shooting, will be commonplace. The list of survivors grows with the list of the dead.

So what do we do?

We speak up and make our voices heard. If that means going to rallies that aim to stop gun violence in America to you, then do that. If that means voting for candidates who campaign to stop gun violence to you, then do that.

There is not one simple answer to this problem and it’s going to take a coordinated effort to fix it, but one thing is for sure, doing nothing ensures that this will happen again.