Reflecting on Mass Shootings

I was sitting in bed scrolling through Buzzfeed like usual and came across a video titled, “me and mass shootings”. It was actually interesting. It got me thinking and realized that in the last 23 years alone, there’s been about 72 mass shooting in the US. 72! in 23 years! I’m 23 years old. So many have happened and I’ve heard so many that it’s kind of expected that there’s one that’s due to happen soon. Sadly, but it’s the truth. I’ve become a bit ignorant to this topic because it became a normal part of life, but seeing and hearing it all summed up was eye opening. It is time I (we), take a step towards making change because it’s been long over due.

I understand there’s many reasons for people to be hurt and angry, but there’s also many reasons why people kill. Remember that hard is hard. Sure, people come from backgrounds that are rough but it doesn’t mean that someone else’s life trials are any more difficult than my life trials. The frustration/difficulties/anger/sadness/hurt someone feels in their situation is just as valid as my frustration/difficulties/anger/sadness/hurt I feel in my situation. Someone else’s emotions are just as valid as your emotions.

I’m not trying to justify the actions of shooters. I’m trying to acknowledge that there are serious issues. Whatever or wherever things went wrong, we need to recognize that there are a lot of factors. I’m no expert of any sorts but what I’ve noticed is that humans are capable of having emotions. We are also capable of chemical imbalances. The more stimulation we get through our different senses the more neuro pathways that are built in our brains. I’m not sure how it works, nor do I know the science behind it, but when there are emotions tied to these senses, whether it be in that moment or a recalled emotion or memory it stays longer. Once these pathways are built, they’re built. It’ll be possible that these feelings and memories will stay longer.

I guess to illustrate this in a sillier manner, when I was about 10, my siblings and I would have eating contests and in this particular event bananas was the choice food. Well, after 4 bananas I puked. I puked EVERYTHING out. To the point where I was dry heaving. Now I struggle to eat raw bananas because of that one event. All I can think of was the textures, the mental, and physical state I was in. Now the way we react to events can all vary based on previous stimuli or knowledge we have. Even our physical capabilities.

Those who kill are in a mental/ emotional state that need help. Just as much as someone who has depression. Just as someone who has an open wound that needs to be tended to.

It’s also not the gun that hurt people. Yes we could have better or revised laws on the right to bear firearms but we also need to treat people better. In my life time I had heard of many shootings. I didn’t realize how many had happened and I lost track of of the time of all of them. The neuro pathways were built. This mass shooting thing was just a normal part of life. But, it’s not. It shouldn’t be.

There’s power in loving others. And it’s not something hard to do. Respecting others is loving others.

Here’s a link to a table of mass shootings in the US since 1982

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-mother-jones-full-data

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