Are mass shootings the new normal in America?

In the past week there have been not one, but two widely publicized deadly shootings. Just another news week in today’s society where it seems that gun violence has become so commonplace that Justin Bieber can be allotted more screen time on nightly news that the victims of the assaults. 

The first of the incidents happened on Jan. 21 on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

The assailant was 23, according to the Purdue University Police Chief. The name has been released but I’m of the mindset that these types of people get their names in the spotlight far too often and all it does is exacerbate the violent mindset.

The suspect was apprehended moments after the shooting as he made his way outside and was caught by police.

It has been announced that the prosecutors have formally charged the Purdue University student with murder in the shooting of fellow student Andrew Boldt. The charge was entered before the scheduled initial court hearing. There has been a not guilty plea entered, as well.

The second incident happened at a mall in Maryland. The shooter was 19-years-old and shot and killed two people, Brianna Benlolo, 21, and Tyler Johnson, 25. Investigation is underway trying to discover a linking factor between the murders.

The incident caused panic in the mall as the shots when off — five people went to the hospital for treatment after the shooting took place.

(Photo by Flickr user MDgovpics)

This is exhausting, this is horrific, this is the new normal in today’s world and it should be causing more outrage than it seems to be. It has gotten to the point where there is nothing left to be said other than to reiterate the misery of the situation, mention again and again that the victims and their families are in our thoughts, and adjust to a world where schools, malls, movie theaters etc. are potential threats to your life.

So, what do we do next? How do we challenge these tragedies? Do we simply watch on as families mourn? Do we hide behind our Twitter and Facebook accounts as we become internet activists? Do we raise our voices to those of whom who proudly advocate the ownership of guns? Do we find a way to safely moderate those who own guns legally and are found capable of continuing the ownership-something that has not seemed to have succeeded in the past year or two.

Or do we simply wait and watch as more and more incidents like this take place, watch as the news tries to dissect the killer and their motives, rather than trying to come up with a solution? We’ve seen 20 school children, a theater full of innocent movie-goers, university students, people on the street, all gunned down by mindless violence. How much more does it take? If the loss of school children does nothing to change minds, to provoke action, is it a lost cause?

Gun violence is out of control, it is more than just isolated events and this is a discussion people should be having.