A Year After Parkland, We Are All Numb

Red Letter Christians | 2/15/2019 | Jeffrey Salkin
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Via RNS – It was all supposed to have changed, wasn’t it?

A year ago, in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, we promised ourselves that things would change.

Students - Tallahassee - Results - Allies - World

The students rallied. They went to Tallahassee. They stood up. They protested, with mixed and sobering results. We promised them that we would be their allies, that we could change the world together.

But, consider all of the shootings that have happened since Parkland.

Blood - Gates - Jewish - Community - War

Consider how the blood reached the gates of the American Jewish community itself. The war came home. In the wake of the horror at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, we mostly (and appropriately) talked about antisemitism in America.

But still, the guns.

Pittsburgh - Shootings

Even since Pittsburgh, more shootings.

Because, if the American mindset and our gunolatry did not change after the shootings of little children in Sandy Hook, why would we have thought that the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School would have changed anything?

Nothing

Nothing has really changed.

Actually, no — that’s not entirely true.

Point - Names - Victims - Shootings - Prayers

Something has changed within me. At a certain point, I simply stopped mentioning the names of the victims of shootings during my prayers in synagogue.

It was not that I had stopped caring.

It was simply that I had become numb.

When it comes to shootings in America, we have all become numb. We barely notice them anymore. We have come to accept them as part of everyday life..

Danger - Unravel

That is the greatest danger. To accept as normal that which is hideously abnormal. That is how societies unravel.

But, numbness is a luxury that we cannot afford. It is to be lulled morally to sleep. It is to check out, to zone out. To simply stop being aware.

Alternative

The alternative? To scream.

I thought about this during the recent State of the Union address. I thought about this...
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