Three people were shot outside of the Minnesota State Fair on Monday night. No one was killed. This time.
This shooting came just days after a mass shooting in West Texas that killed seven people and injured 22.
Among the seven people killed were a postal worker, a math teacher, a truck driver, a man visiting his parents and a 15-year-old girl who had just celebrated her birthday.
These events have become so frequent that it’s hard to keep up. We’re easily distracted. Many of us are juggling full-time school, part-time jobs and maintaining a healthy social life. It feels like forever ago when shootings still stopped in our tracks.
As of September 1, there have been 283 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2019, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.
The Pulse nightclub in June 2016: 49 people killed. A Las Vegas concert in October 2017: 58 people killed. A high school in Parkland: 17 people killed.
When we see these headlines in the news, why do we think, “Oh, just another day in America?” We have become so desensitized to this kind of violence which results in the killing of large groups. This is part of our daily lives in America, but this is not normal.
Children are afraid to go to school because they’re scared they’re going to die. We shouldn’t have to teach them how to protect themselves in case a shooting were to occur in a place that is supposed to be safe.
Gun violence affects all of us, whether or not we are ready to admit it.
These shootings are happening everywhere. At state fairs. At concerts. In schools. In movie theaters. Where are we safe?
We’ve long had the solutions for these problems. It’s simple, and a lot of you are not going to like it. The root of the problem is the access troubled young white men have to weapons that serve no legitimate purpose other than annihilation.
I cannot stress this enough: there is no reason for someone to own an AR-15. There is no reason someone needs to own a weapon that has the potential – and has proven time and again – to cause pain and destruction.
We can’t continue the desensitization of gun violence. We have to avoid making mass shootings our new normal. Here’s to hoping we can all start seeing the value of human life rather than the “value” of owning semi-automatic weapons.