Terrorism Desensitizes Citizens


The day after the terrorist attack in Stockholm (Photo provided by By Frankie Fouganthin).

Sam Cook, Online editor

Most falcons checking out the morning news watch the regular daily sports discussions, weather reports and terror attacks. For most, the latest breaking news banner at the bottom of the tv screen proclaiming a terror attack in some far off region is losing any meaning and the associated sadness and reflection.

The media has become so full of explosions and shootings. People don’t view them as anything special. We are becoming desensitized. While the desensitized culture will not cause us to commit heinous acts of our own it is still a cause for concern as the families affected by terrorism receive less support. The media that we consume overwhelms us with so much information that only the largest and closest losses of life are notable anymore.

It is very difficult to process these disasters despite the power of technology to give minute by minute updates on a shooting. We can see it on a screen. On a screen, feelings do not matter. Furthermore, seven out of ten Americans surveyed in a Gallup poll trust terrorism defense giving them even less reason to care.

The majority of attacks are very far away in Western Africa, the Middle East or Europe. Recognizing this problem, senior Conrad Thompson said, “There’s always more of a response when terrorism happens in white countries”. The huge number of attacks happening in some areas makes it difficult to keep up or empathize. Even the London attacks this summer are about 3,990 miles away. For comparison, that’s about the length of the Amazon river, an incomprehensibly long distance. The lack of seriousness about terrorism is because of the difficulty of processing.

To process the somber topic many treat such events with a degree of levity. Tasteless jokes and internet images reduce the respect for the deceased and their family and don’t bring any benefits. In Indianapolis, few people have the personal connections to bring meaning. Thompson said teens take news “… at face value without checking its validity or researching in greater detail”.

These actions inspire more useless help that instead becomes a call for attention. Changing your facebook banner to a different color is not supporting victims of a recent tragedy. Not everyone can easily donate money or provide direct support but the can still share the possibilities to others. We need to consider our attitude towards terrorism if we want it to not become the next fad.