With each mass killing, our nation stops. Public event attendees stand for a memorial moment of silence. Public figures wear memorial ribbons on their chest. Memorial flowers and note accumulate at the site. News broadcasts display pictures of the victims. Printed media lead with front-page banner headlines covering the event. The president makes a statement and visits the site; in other words, we acknowledge the horror and mourn as a nation.
Where is our sense of loss, our national horror and grieving for all of the others who, while not killed in a single incident, are killed through acts of domestic terrorism nonetheless? Just using Chicago as an example, on June 14 The Gazette reported that 44 people had been shot over the weekend, seven of them fatally. Just one week later, the newspaper reported another 55 people were shot over that previous weekend, bringing the total number of individuals killed in Chicago to 300 for the first half of this year, alone.
Have we, individually and collectively as a nation, become so immune to the frequency of violence in our neighborhoods and cities that we no longer pay any heed? Where is our moral outrage over these deaths and the effect this is having on each of us and our communities, especially our youth? When will we be outraged enough to strive together to build understanding, acceptance, forgiveness, opportunities and gentleness?
Media play a role in informing citizenry, building awareness, and influencing our opinions on issues. Has the time come for media to be more forceful in bringing the scale of these deaths to light and keeping the impact forefront on our collective national conscience? We should all be outraged over each death; we should all mourn with the families who have lost a father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, friend, neighbor. We should be ashamed by our apathy when it happens to someone other than our family, somewhere other than our neighborhood.
• Colleen Tobiason, of Cedar Rapids, is retired from Transamerica and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren.