Letter: Are We Becoming Numb to Mass Shootings?

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A question on Facebook, upon the first anniversary of the Parkland Massacre: Are we becoming numb to mass shootings? Or is it affecting us now more than ever?

Why am I, at my present age of 80, so concerned for my life, my safety? Being killed in the Laguna Beach library would make me famous and save me from getting older and suffering from the inevitable parts of late aging. At least it would be dramatic and short-lived. Over and done in minutes.

But all of these “comforting” thoughts were not going through my mind on Saturday, Nov. 10, as I listened to a local author read from her newly published book. I was distracted by the obviously transient people coming into the library. One of them, a tall man in a tan raincoat, was circling our group like a Frankenstein.

I wonder: Is he carrying? Is he going to reach into his pocket, bring out a revolver and start shooting? Can I use my molded plastic chair to deflect bullets? Can I hold it up in back of me as I run from the room?

Yes, I am affected. Two nights before this day in the library, Nov. 8th, a Marine combat veteran with PTSD walked into a bar in Thousand Oaks and opened fire. It was college night. Twelve died. His legally purchased gun had an extended magazine, which is illegal in California. How did he get it?

Ever since the Sandy Hook shootings, which were in my opinion, the worst ever to happen, I have been affected. Those little children! I grieve with their parents whose hearts are forever broken. And when I find myself in a gathering of people in a public place, it occurs to me that something hideous might happen.

And now Saturday, April 27, another shooting at a synagogue by someone with an AR15. Thoughts and prayers, anybody? Is the rest of the world becoming so numb? I’m not.

Linda Winslow, Laguna Beach

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