These families have endured a shattering tragedy. It ought to be a shock to us all as a nation and as a people. It ought to obsess us. It ought to lead to some sort of transformation. That’s what happened in other countries when they experienced similar tragedies. In the United Kingdom, in Australia, when just a single mass shooting occurred, … they understood that there was nothing ordinary about this kind of carnage. They endured great heartbreak, but they also mobilized and they changed, and mass shootings became a great rarity. And yet, here in the United States, after the round-of-clock coverage on cable news, after the heartbreaking interviews with families, after all the speeches and all the punditry and all the commentary, nothing happens. … I fear there’s a creeping resignation that these tragedies are just somehow the way it is, that this is somehow the new normal.
The words of President Obama remind me of my favorite quote by Ernest Becker:
If everybody lives roughly the same lies about the same things, there is no one to call them liars. They jointly establish their own sanity and call themselves normal.
Are we slowly succumbing to the fringes of our society when good people stand by silently and do nothing?
We risk losing our humanity when we become desensitized to violence and abuse of any kind.