“Why would one person do something like this to people? If you’re that unhappy with your life, why hurt others?” Kim Gervais, a victim of the Las Vegas shooting told the New York Times.
Fifty-nine dead; 546 injured. When you look at the numbers, it’s merely impossible to not sympathize with the tragedy of the most recent shooting that occurred in Las Vegas. The amount of people afflicted by this malignancy is irreparable, and surely a day that will be remembered for decades to come. But even though that this animosity is to be considered one of the deadliest mass shootings in the U.S., it seems that we have become culturally numb to the perpetration of violence.
In the month of October alone there have been approximately 27 shootings across the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive. And even though they may have been nationally or locally publicized, we have not only turned our heads to these indecencies, but also started to neglect the ferocity that happened at the beginning of last month.
Over the span of 31 days we have moved on to other executions of violence, such as the murder of eight individuals by Sayfullo Saipov running them over with a rental truck in downtown New York City, and the shooting of 26 people in Sutherland Springs, Texas. But despite being considered an act of terror, it seems as if the United States has already forgotten about this incivility.
We are in a constant cycle of violent behaviors, a false expression of sympathy, and then a revert back to “life as it was,” not taking into account the severity behind violence, but why?
For one, the media is most definitely felonious in this matter, serving as an antecedent to our ignorance. Especially in light of recent events, news outlets are not seen characterizing the vulgarity that has occurred, but dramatizing the violence to tailor to the consumer, and heighten their numbers. They report on the actual perpetrator, romanticizing their motives and detailing points of insignificance such as their occupation before the event or if their family suspected anything.
This not only fuels a drama consumed society, but popularizes an inhumanity of mass proportions, thus enticing those who might be motivated to act similarly in the hopes of public recognition.
As Yorba Linda High School senior Kelly Nguyen puts it, “We have to stop putting the perpetrator’s face on loop, making them so prevalent in society that their names are easily recognizable while victims’ names are not. Our society can take action to prevent this violence; yet, we simply refuse to.”
In prospect, this leads to a frequency of congruous acts of violence, more erroneous news coverage, and the continuance of human insensitivity in compliance with cruelty. But is the U.S. capable of pulling themselves out of this lethal repetition of philistinism, or will we always be tied to a blatant disregard for human life?
The answer to this is not as simple as it might seem, but there are a few aspects that might aid into a return to societal genuity. For example, popular media facets could start reporting on the reality of the events, not just describing the indecency by mere numbers and the backstory of the transgressor. Additionally, as an aggregation we could start viewing these perpetrations of inhumanity objectively, understanding the discord that it entails, rather than glamorizing malice.