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Two Teenage Girls Are Dead And It’s Just Another News Day

By February 25, 2016 0
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Last week, there was a shooting at a high school in Arizona. Two 15 year old girls died.

Did you hear anything about it? Because I didn’t.

I remember when I heard about Columbine. I was 8. My elementary school principal called an assembly, and I sat cross legged on the carpeted floor outside of my 3rd grade classroom as she tried to explain to a group of confused 5 to 10-year-olds what, exactly, a mass shooting was.

I remember Sandy Hook. I was home from college on Christmas break, sitting in my childhood bedroom Facebook stalking people from high school, when my newsfeed was flooded with outpourings of prayers and condolences for the innocent lives that were taken that day. I ran into my moms bathroom, and the two of us spent the next few hours watching the coverage on CNN, sobbing.

I remember the Aurora shooting. It was right after my 21st birthday and I was interning at a fashion magazine. One of the other interns said, “Woah. Did you guys hear about the shooting in the movie theatre last night?

“No, that’s crazy though,” our boss piped in. And then we all went back to work, our lack of  concern indicative to just how commonplace this sort of thing had started to become.

I remember San Bernadino, Charelston, Fort Hood, Virginia Tech, Oregon University, the Uber driver who killed 9 people in Michigan earlier this week … the list goes on and on.

I’m 24-years-old and have distinct memories of a dozen mass shootings, which is terrible, but is also really NOTHING when you consider the fact that from 2000 to 2014, there were 144 of them. (WAY more than any other country in the world, in case you were wondering).

Now, I know there is all kinds of debate over what actually qualifies as a mass shooting, and whether it’s ok to group a gun-fueled street fight together with terrorism or a deranged man who walked into an elementary school and killed 27 people. My point is only that there have simply been too many people killed by guns in the last 20 years. Not exactly a new argument, but an important one nonetheless.

All of this leads me to today, when I found out about a shooting at an Arizona high school that killed two 15-year-old girls. It happened almost two weeks ago, and I only saw the news because I was reading old tweets from comedian Sarah Silverman.

Yup. I heard about a school shooting 13 days after it happened from a comedian’s Twitter.

To put that into perspective, the news is my life. I’m getting a master’s degree in journalism, am an intern at one of the biggest broadcast news agencies on the planet, and am the editor-in-chief of an opinion blog. I consume (and occasionally produce) news 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

AND I FOUND OUT ABOUT A DEADLY SCHOOL SHOOTING 13 DAYS AFTER IT HAPPENED FROM READING A COMEDIAN’S TWITTER.

Gun violence in this country is so out of control that a murder-suicide at a high school barely makes it into the news anymore.

After I read the Tweets, and my initial sick feelings about the events subsided, I texted my roommate:

Hey, did you see anything about that shooting in Arizona last week? So horrible. 

The family of five? Yeah, so sad. 

… Same time frame, same state, and we weren’t even talking about the same tragedy.

Think, for a second, about how horrible that is: not only are these incidences barely in the news anymore, but there are so many of them it’s become nearly impossible to keep track.

I’ll lay out the facts of the high school shooting for you, because I can almost guarantee that you didn’t see them anywhere else: a 15-year-old girl came to school with a gun and shot her close friend, who she may have been in a romantic relationship with, and then shot herself. All of this happened before the 8am bell.

Two families lost their daughters that day, but I guess when you consider all of the other fucked up stuff going on in the world, the shooting death of two teenage girls from Glendale, Arizona isn’t really front page news.

But wait — here are some major headlines I did read last week:

Kanye West Asks Mark Zuckerberg for $1Billion! 

Cruz and Rubio Immigration Debate Ends With Yelling in Spanish!

Olivia Has A Meltdown On Last Night’s Episode Of The Bachelor!

Kim Kardashian Shares First Photo Of Saint West!

Jeb Bush Runs Brutal Ad Against Donald Trump!

… Seriously?

Come on, America. Not only is gun violence a huge and horrifying problem in this country (For more information about how huge and horrifying it actually is, click here), but we are now belittling its importance in the media to make way for ridiculous shit.

The minute we stop talking about the violence — the minute we let it become “just another news day,” when two high school girls lay dead because they were given access to a gun — the more dangerous it becomes.

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