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OPINION: 13 lives lost, but does it even matter anymore?

Three-hundred and eleventh day of the year, the 307th mass shooting

Four days total without any mass shootings in this country.  Good job team.

It terrifies me that when I wake up to news of another mass shooting, I can’t find the empathy and compassion in my heart to question why massacres keeps happening. I know why it keeps happening.

Our generation is desensitized to news of mass shootings, bombings, students killing students, religious slaughter, and a general understanding that the world doesn’t revolve around the small cliques we put ourselves in. We can’t take more than a moment to grieve before accepting the reality of the situation, and quickly moving on with daily life.

But why wouldn’t we be desensitized? The people who commit these heinous crimes are being given the spotlight. Their names are being projected for all the world to see, and people eat it all up. They glorify the means, they find influence in the troubled experiences, they forget that this is a person we could have prevented.

In effect, the media are giving more power to potential school shooters who see coverage of news of this morning’s Thousand Oaks shooting, and see it as an opportunity for recognition, whether positive or negative.

The event that occurred last night at the Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks, Ca., came just two weeks after a highly publicized mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh that left 11 dead.

The sad reality is that there have been 11 other mass shootings in this country since Pittsburgh, with 10 more victims being added to the tally

It seems more likely now that Humboldt State University is just another place where these statistics could continue to grow. There are real fears from students that at any moment, our small college will end up on some major media site with a body count looming, and someone trying to “understand” how things could have been prevented.

I’m scared. Truly.

We need to stop covering these shootings in a way that give any credit to the shooters. We cannot give them the power or recognition they’re so desperately trying to get.

I think media should stop using the names and faces of mass shooters in our media coverage, and describe them based on their actions as murderers.

As a journalist, I find it hard to withhold information from stories. But I think in the case of mass shootings, we need to shift the focus from the shooter and their motives to the victims, and how we can work harder to prevent more kids, students and people from waking up and walking out the door for work, school, or to hit the clubs, and never coming home again.

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