“We’ve become numb to this”: Umpqua Community College

Umpqua Community College school shooting | The Lonely Tribalist
Source: Koin.com

On October 1, in the southern part of my home state, there was yet another mass shooting on school grounds. At Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, OR, 9 people have been confirmed dead, including the shooter. My feelings are unclear. My initial reaction within my first few moments of hearing this are “Holy sh*t. That’s f*cking terrible.” However, after those moments subsided, I was overcome with a sensation far more disturbing.

Numbness.

To be honest, when I saw the headlines on my Facebook feed about the tragedy- hell, I almost can’t type because I feel ashamed. I am ashamed because my interest had a distinct flavor of curiosity rather than grief. I was hungry for the graphic details and ready to swallow whole the reaction of the nation. There was no pain yet. And I wasn’t anticipating any pain at all. Another day, another shooting. That’s what life is like here. And it’s not even foreign to us Oregonians.

I am no heavyweight proponent of gun control nor am I especially gun-happy. My parents own guns. I’ve gone to shooting ranges and have fired a variety of weapons – and it was always a good time. I do believe there needs to be something done about gun education if access to guns is going to be so easy. However, I do not have strong, specific feelings either way about the state of guns in the United States. The shift to focusing on mental health is a good start, but again, I am not yet informed enough to have very pointed opinions on the matter.

But now, as I’m writing this 7 hours after the shooting happened, I am sad. I am sad that those 17 people and the surrounding community had to experience that. I am sad that shooting people can be so easy. I am sad that I have felt numb. It is a selfish feeling, but a nagging part of me fears for my own humanity. Wouldn’t a more compassionate, human person have felt more appropriate feelings? My rational mind can tell me about systematic desensitization, but my heart still wonders. It still wonders if it does enough.

I cannot say with complete truth that my heart goes out to all affected by this terrible event. I am still not entirely sure what I do feel. But I am learning, listening my hardest to hear the sounds of that inevitable thump in my chest. There is no reason such atrocities should continue to happen so often. We deserve better. I just hope we – I – can learn fast enough.

Watch: President Obama’s furious reaction to another mass shooting in America | Vox

Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings below.

Michelle 

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5 thoughts on ““We’ve become numb to this”: Umpqua Community College

  1. I am from New Zealand where guns and the use of is pretty tightly controlled. Gun licenses are pretty hard to come by and there is tight legislation around usage of firearms. Looking at it from the other side of the world is very odd, my reaction was just oh here’s another school shooting in America. I felt almost bad for feeling like that, the deceased are still peoples family members, not just another set of victims. I am almost saddened by how desensitized we have all become to horrific events. I feel sorry to those whose lives have been effected by this tragedy especially since I continue to live my life as though nothing has changed.

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    1. I was just watching “The Daily Show’s” bit on gun control in Australia (with John Oliver). It’s frustrating how backwards we still seem to be in so many ways. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. While this event was geographically closer to home for me, it still does feel like “some shooting somewhere else in the world.” Unfortunately, we’ll likely have to suffer through several more tragedies like this one (at least) before something is actually done.

      Liked by 1 person

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