Mass Shootings Put Students on Edge

After two of the biggest mass shootings in U.S. history —  Las Vegas and Texas — many are feeling on edge, including students.

On Oct. 1, 441 people were injured and 59 people were killed during a music festival in Las Vegas and on Nov. 5, 20 people were injured and 26 people killed at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. According to the Gun Violence Archive, 333 mass shootings (four or more people killed) have happened this year in America.

The shootings have had made some students feel less secure.

“Sometimes I worry if something like this will happen when I’m in public,” sophomore Amy Hansen said. “No one deserves to die like that.”

Senior Lexi Christman is more nervous than she used to be, too, although she still feels safe in the local area.

“[The shootings] make me worried if it could happen to someone I know,” Lexi said. “Boyertown might be okay, but I have friends who live in other places, and I’m worried for them.”

Sophomore Tommy Johnston said he is more afraid to go to large public events now.

“The shootings make me more wary of going to events like concerts and parades,” he said.

According to Leonard Newman, a director of social psychology from Syracuse University, people feel afraid due to the amount of coverage these events get on the news, although they are not likely to happen to the average person.

“People end up with an exaggerated sense of the frequency with which they occur—and that leads people to feel more vulnerable to them.”

While he doesn’t believe people are becoming numb to the shootings that get on the news, he says that people are becoming desensitized to the events that don’t get broadcasted.

“What we are getting numbed to is all of the thousands of shootings that don’t make headlines,” he said.

Sheila Rauch, a mental health professional from Moyers and Company, believes people are “becoming less outraged with each incident.”

“This should be unacceptable and instead it seems to be shrugged off as the way things are now. I think this has a numbing effect on our society.”

Lexi also feel that people are becoming more numb to these events.

“I think it’s become more popularized,” she said. “If tomorrow on the news, there was another school shooting, I wouldn’t be surprised.”

However, Tommy does not agree with Newman.

“I don’t think they are frequent enough to desensitize people,” he said.

Overall, students seemed dismayed more than anything.

“It’s crazy that people in our country have resulted to this,” Christman said. “It’s disheartening.”

Sophomore Amy Hansen agrees.

“I feel upset that people have to be violent in order to get what they want, or to get their point across,” she said. “There are other alternatives.”

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