We Are Numb

The headline kind of said it all: “Has America become numb to tragedy?”

Sadly, that headline was from an NBC News website in 2009 after a mass shooting.

The mass shootings and killings just seem to pile up here in the good ol’ USA. We can’t even keep track of them, unless it happened to someone or somewhere close to us.

Here we are in 2017, CBS News asked basically the same question, “Are Americans becoming ‘numb’ to mass shootings?”

The answer is yes.

To be quite honest, the latest mass killing at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, got to me. While I don’t know any of the 26 who were murdered I’ve attended small-town churches in my life and the thought that someone could walk in and start killing people in their house of worship sickens me. It makes me sad for our country.

Plus, hearing that after the initial barrage of gunfire, the shooter walked around inside the church and pumped bullets into those clinging to life and killed young children and babies who were crying, shook me.

The investigation found 15 empty 30 round magazines in and around the church. After it was over, he had fired about 450 rounds.

Why would someone kill children?

I wondered the same thing when 20 elementary school students and six staff members were gunned down in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, back in 2012.

I thought back then that as a country we might finally come together like we did after 9/11 and try to address this problem. I thought we might find a solution that most of us could agree with.

I had hoped that for just once we could discuss the problem without taking one side or the other of Second Amendment. I own guns. I believe strongly in the right, but I also don’t think I should be able to buy a cannon or that AR-15s are needed. I have always believed that freedom is not free.

In the Texas shooting, there were several ways the shooter should have been prevented from buying his assault rifle and handguns. We failed to follow the law and the rules that were already on the books.

A bystander helped stop the shooter. I saw a tweet from someone who put that in perspective: “there was a good guy with a gun and still 26 people died.” We don’t know if more people would have died if the “good guy” had not shot the “bad guy” no matter what the President says.

I’m angry at the USA because this is happening over and over again. What town will be next? It may happen when you or I are attending an event in our hometown. It could happen at the university or college or school or at the mall. We don’t know where or when, but we do know that it will happen again.

When it does happen again, we’ll be outraged for a few days. We’ll read the arguments from our friends on social media and listen to cable news network that has the views with which we agree most.

We may write something like our “thoughts and prayers” are with the victims and all those affected. For the record, I am one of those who prays for the victims and their families.

We’ll watch the politicians take one side or the other on gun control and turn it political.

In other words, we’ll do a whole bunch of nothing once again.

We are numb.



2 thoughts on “We Are Numb

  1. Well said!

    Are we as a society becoming more anti social due to the shootings (which may lead to more violence)? Because of shootings, we are more likely to shop at Amazon instead of malls – or even physical stores- see the Billings Big Bear Store shooting last week, more likely to use Netflix instead of going to the theater, and now people are afraid to go to outdoor concerts and churches. Sadly instead we sit at home watching Fox News or MSNBC in our safe little silos.

    In other news, I’m happy that millennials have taken over the Helena City Commission along with a new progressive Mayor. The city had been run by the good old boys and a few good old gals for over 50 yrs.


    • Bob – Thank you. It does seem we are becoming more antisocial. It was an interesting win last night in Helena. Should be fun to watch them! -JmB

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