This is part of the Life’s theories series. Had penned these thoughts in 2015 after a gunman opened fire at a community college in Oregon, USA on October 1.
Routine is not always a good thing. And perhaps no one feels the pinch of the word more than Mr President, Barack Obama himself.
Having delivered his 15th condolence / regret/ resolution statement on gun killings in the US of A, Mr. Obama’s statement served as a poignant reminder: “Somehow this has become routine,” he said. “The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine, the conversation in the aftermath of it. We’ve become numb to this.”
We’re not just numb – we’re dumb struck.
How could a neighbourhood that has reported burglary between 2009-2012, suddenly get caught in a gun shooting by a resident?
How could a country have more gun attack deaths in 8 months than terrorism-related deaths in 45 years?
So essentially the US is saying: Look, we really know how to deal with the big terrorists from the outside. But wait a minute – we seem to have a little challenge with our youngsters. They seem to like going on a gun spree and randomly shoot some human beings? And perhaps there is an affinity for the location since high schools feature a lot here?
And though this seems like a US issue, lets pretend that this is a big house and that someone has a problem. (Even if it’s the big bully).
What is the solution?
It is unhealthy for us, as a people, to think that a 20-year-old wants to suddenly shoot some people (or classmates/ peers). Are you a Christian? You will see your God in one second: the gunman reportedly told a student before firing a bullet. (That student has survived).
Shooting at point blank range, serving 7 bullets to a man who was trying to fend the shooter off (even after the former pleaded that it was his son’s sixth birthday). These are not the narrative of a blockbuster Hollywood film. And the reel seems to have gotten stuck somewhere – since we seem to have a sense of déjà vu every few months.
Is it that we don’t learn? Is society not tending to its young? Are some emotional scars so tough to get over that the only respite is to mercilessly hurt others? Or is it, equally worryingly, a claim to fame?
“yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are. A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone. His face splashed across every screen, his name across the lips of every person on the planet, all in the course of one day. Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.”
Excerpt from a blog post associated with the suspected gunman.
Yes, the world has changed from our parent’s generation. And the typical 30 years might not fit into the traditional definition of a generation. Today’s pace has probably narrowed it to 5. The world is tougher, bigger, bad-der. But it always was.
There are ways to deal with everything that going on. And it fortunately starts with the ‘us’. We can reach out for help if we need, we can extend help to someone we think does, we can rally around each other to affect change through government policies. And we can choose to be kinder, more human to each other – kin or stranger. Because we don’t know each other’s stories. And the sound of our voices cannot be overpowered by the shots of a gun. From an unlikely community campus, its echo has resounded across the world.
Let us choose wisely.