I was a junior in high school when I first heard about Columbine. For weeks afterwards it was all anyone could talk about. The mass murder was shocking in its size, scope and brazenness. Fourteen students dead, including both gunmen, and one teacher.
It certainly wasn’t the first time a troubled individual used a gun to solve his personal problems; and it wouldn’t be the last.
A month later the country suffered through the Heritage High School shooting where 6 people were injured before the gunman was stopped. Then there was Red Lake Minnesota in 2005 where 7 people were killed including the gunman and Virginia Tech in 2007 where 33 people were killed. More recently there has been the shooting at the event with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tuscon, Arizona (6 dead), the mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theatre (12 dead), and Newton, Massachusetts (26 dead, 20 of them children).
This country has seen a lot of bloodshed over the past decade because the wrong people have managed to get a hold of mass murdering machines; weapons capable of pumping out a hundred bullets at super-sonic speed in mere seconds. And in all that time we have done very little to try to prevent it.
Then something truly tragic happened along the way. I started caring less and less. I became numb to the violence. We are no longer surprised by one person or a hundred people dying because of somebody with a gun.
Of course, we grieved and mourned and questioned and wondered. The news outlets did the same old tired examinations of our so-called violent culture of video games and movies. One side of the argument blamed too many guns; the other side said not enough guns in the right hands.
We all took to Facebook and Twitter expressing our condolences to the families and to the towns.
This is the culture we have created. This is a nation armed and dangerous.
America won’t embrace meaningful gun control until we becomes so sick of the violence, so abhorrent to the fact that all these guns haven’t made us any safer, that reform is the only logical step forward. But we’re not there yet as evidenced by what happened in the Senate on April 12th.
My fear is that even after Sandy Hook, where 20 children lost their lives, even that that wasn't enough. The question we as a nation should be asking is: how much worse does it have to get before we actually do something?