Tragedies do not always induce the change needed

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Tragedies do not always induce the change needed

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  I used to believe that tragedy would effect change. I used to believe that some changes could only come once people realize the consequences of their behaviors and they see them right before their eyes. It was comforting to think that we always learn from the worst experiences and change what we do in the future because of them.

  I still think the death of an individual due to a drunk driving accident will always have more weight than anything else. And I still think that people start taking better care of themselves the moment one of their loved ones have a heart attack.

  Until the repercussion of a given behavior actually happens, we tend to deny the possibility of it happening – or at least the possibility of it happening to us.

  I used to think that once these ramifications occur, change always takes place because at that point one can no longer be in denial.  Lately, however, I’m beginning to realize that even when tragedies take place, change does not always follow. Even bad outcomes of enormous magnitude may not result in any discernible change.

  Less than one month ago, there was a shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.  Nine were killed by the gunman, a student enrolled in the school.  The event was terribly tragic as were the several mass shootings in the past few years.

  From Newtown to Isla Vista to Charleston and now Roseburg, cities across the nation have seen their fair share of mass shootings. The country collectively has seen these fatal tragedies for years.  But no change has occurred.  

  This is what draws a cloud over my belief that something good can always come out of an awful situation. These mass shootings have occurred, time and time again, but no significant change to prevent one from happening yet another time has followed.

  The same reaction is repeated, the same nonexistent course of action, the same speeches about prayers going out to the families of victims.  The reaction to the terrible tragedies is disappointing because the reaction never includes changing the status quo.

  Insanity is defined as doing the same thing repeatedly and yet expecting different results. By this definition, we the American people are insane.

  It is undeniable that something must be done. Why people continue to deny change in the face of such tragedies is incomprehensible.

  Some believe that there should be more laws regarding gun control and more thorough background checks.  Others say that we need to invest more interest into examining mental illnesses and properly treating them.

  It is in the hands of both the voting people and the government of the United States to change the current policies so that these tragedies are less likely to occur in the future.  That change can only come by the people’s urging and the government’s acting.

  It’s understandable that it may take some time for the change to be implemented on a national level.

However, much time has passed since 26 people — 20 of whom were schoolchildren — were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 or since 32 individuals at Virginia Tech were shot in 2007.

  How long will it take for change to occur? How many more fatalities will occur during that time? If the 294 mass shootings that have already occurred this year aren’t enough, then how many is enough?

  Tragedies don’t always cause change.  I wish they did, but the frequent fatalities of innocent people, without implementation of any new policies leads me to believe something new. Perhaps black clouds don’t always have silver linings.

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