‘Thoughts and prayers’ just don’t cut it now

I was baffled when I read a week ago that three people died when a shooter opened fire at a Madden NFL tournament. Yeah, the video game Madden NFL.

What kind of person kills two others and themselves because he lost in a video game? I’m more than sure nobody can beat another so bad that the only way to redeem himself is to lash out and kill himself and two others in the process.

Sadly, as a nation we’ve grown used to the normality of these homegrown terrorist attacks of different lengths and extremes.

Now with social media giving us live updates on mass shootings, it’s become somewhat an entertainment outlet for us keeping up with body counts, sharing pictures of maimed individuals, and giving out low-effort ‘thoughts and prayers’ to those affected. This is our normal. In fact, when I ask my friends if they’d heard anything about the recent shooting, oftentimes I’m met with, “Which one?”

When I was young and mass shooting coverage was on TV, everyone was gathered and we were silent. Watching the coverage made me feel uncomfortable as our collective moods would be taken to new lows. For days the victims would be in our conversations as we shared disbelief. As I’ve grown older, things have surely changed. Seeing coverage of a shooting on the news today is about as normal as getting the weather forecast.

And if it’s not a shooting when we get our daily dose of violence, surely a protest is getting people pissed off enough to hurt each other. We don’t have to go very far to read about some bloodbath going on somewhere to get our fix of misery to make us feel less shallow.

We’ve come to a point where the constant barrage of mass shootings has left people either mad or simply not caring.

Sure, we’ll all say things like, “These shootings are out of control!” and, “This craziness has to stop!” Yes, many people have made actual efforts toward changing gun laws to restrict people from getting their hands on considerably dangerous firearms.

But for the rest of us, nine times out of ten when we see news of a shooting we hardly are interested enough to read past the headlines.

The Madden tournament shooting only caught my interest because it was a new twist on the old formula.

Constantly being shown the face of cruelty has desensitized us as a people, and we couldn’t care less.

By Ayden Tyler – High Tides

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