Recent shootings reveal normalization of violence

December 12, 2015

According to Shooting Tracker, there have been 353 shootings this year alone, more attacks than there are days in the year. As the number of these attacks increases, people are becoming increasingly indifferent towards these incidents, a process referred to as the normalization of violence.

Colorado Springs, Colorado:

Last month, Robert Lewis Dear allegedly killed three people and injured 12 in an attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dear held police at a standstill for 5 hours before he surrendered to police once they brought an armored vehicle into the clinic.

A supervisor from the Falcon Division of the Colorado Springs Police Department said that it is difficult to anticipate attacks before they occur, but that the police’s first priority is reducing injuries and casualties.

“We can’t prevent things that we don’t know about, but we do have response strategies,” he said. “It is in the process of being reviewed, but the protocol is to encounter and engage the gunman and prevent him from taking innocent lives.”

Roseburg, Oregon:

In October, Chris Harper Mercer killed nine people and injured seven at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon before being killed by police. Harper Mercer was enrolled in the college and opened fire upon entering one of his classrooms.

Charleston, South Carolina:

In June, Dylann Roof allegedly killed nine people at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof had attended a Bible study at the church and then proceeded to carry out his shooting.

Aurora, Colorado:

In July of 2012, James Holmes killed 12 people and wounded 58 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. The shooting took place during a theater screening of the new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. Holmes was arrested outside of the theater.

Newton, Connecticut:

In December of 2012, Adam Lanza killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. Police also found his mother, Nancy Lanza, dead from a gunshot wound.

Compared to the 14 shootings in 2012, including two which attracted nation-wide attention, the multitude of shootings in 2015 has received less alarm and people are becoming more indifferent towards an event that they now see as an everyday occurrence.

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