On June 12, 2016, 49 people were killed and 58 wounded in what was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

One year and four months later, on Oct. 1, 2017, 58 people were killed and roughly 500 injured in a mass shooting at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip.

It is now the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in modern American history.

Nearly two weeks after this national tragedy, it feels as though our country is going through the same, tired motions that have become the norm after all-too-common mass shootings.

Newsweek reported that a mass shooting happens nearly every day in the United States. The events in Las Vegas were one of 273 mass shootings in the first 275 days of 2017, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

It is easy to feel disillusioned after the events in Las Vegas. It is easy to register tragedies like this one only as news alerts on our phones or tweets we scroll by during study breaks.

We must be careful to not allow ourselves to be desensitized to senseless violence.

We have a responsibility to acknowledge and care about those who lost their lives.

Even as we find ourselves busier and busier — swamped by midterms and papers and more commitments than we can handle — it is vital that we do not insulate ourselves from the world around us, even when that world is cruel and difficult to face.

Our intent is, of course, not to fault or denigrate the Georgetown University community. Undoubtedly, individuals on campus have been deeply struck by this tragedy, have reflected sincerely on its significance and have reached out to others to reaffirm their support in the wake of these events

Rather, this editorial board merely hopes to remind readers — reach out. Care. Take a moment to reflect on the world around you and to consider your place within it, even when it is difficult and terrifying to do so.

This reflection will be different for all of us. For some, this tragedy will embolden us to double down on our advocacy for gun control. For others, it will prompt us to connect with our communities — communities of friends, of family and of faith — to reaffirm our networks of support. Check in with those around you, and reach out when you feel disconnected.

Acknowledge tragedy, terror and loss, even when it threatens to disrupt the busy nature of your life — it should. Becoming numb to violence is not the solution. Rather, when our nation is struck by tragedy, we must seize it as an opportunity to reflect, to connect and to show compassion.

In the days after the Orlando shooting, Campus Ministry organized an interfaith prayer service in Dahlgren Quadrangle. A crowd of people came together, reflecting on the shock and horror that rocked the nation in the wake of this tragedy, but finding solace in the support and love of our community.

A similar interfaith prayer service was held last week in memory of those affected by the Las Vegas shooting.

Seek out and engage in these opportunities, to remember those who have lost their lives to senseless tragedies, to commune with your peers in a setting of support and love and to acknowledge the emotional tolls these events take on our communities.

Resilience requires us to carry on in the wake of tragedies — to deny domestic terrorism its intended purpose of exploiting our fears.

Nevertheless, to persevere is not to ignore violence, nor to isolate ourselves from the pain of others. It requires us to reach out and connect to those around us, to engage in our world even when we are shocked and angry at it, to reflect in moments of pain and to steel ourselves with a determination to carry on.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

One Comment

  1. Wow this is just straight up self-serving and lacks substance. Nothing on the current political climate, nothing on how this is a repeat problem. Are you guys just going to copy and paste this when there is another mass shooting? thanks for taking a stand and reminding us that gee maybe we should reflect on 500+ people being shot by a rainstorm of bullets–critically injured for life–even though midterms are sooooo hectic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*