Indiana Daily Student

OPINION: Shootings are something we need to take more seriously

<p>The outside of Kalao  Restaurant &amp; Night Club is pictured June 1, 2022, on Walnut Street. </p>

The outside of Kalao Restaurant & Night Club is pictured June 1, 2022, on Walnut Street.

It seems I can’t get on Twitter or watch Instagram stories anymore without seeing that somewhere else in the United States was affected by a mass shooting.

As of May 25 America has had 213 mass shootings this year already, according to National Public Radio. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have already been 15 mass shootings since the one in Uvalde, Texas. In an article from the University of Pennsylvania, The Congressional Research Service defines mass shootings as firearm incidents involving four or more victims at one or more locations close to one another.

Since the shooting in Uvalde, my Twitter and Instagram timelines have been filled with angry people. Many celebrities and people I know and I follow have been outspoken about the issue. 

Even though it is the bare minimum, it still makes me feel a little better seeing celebrities — people with actual influence in the world — bringing awareness to such serious issues in our country. But I also see people replying or quoting their tweets as if they are a joke, which angers me pretty fast. 

I am serious when I say I saw people turning Taylor Swift’s tweet about the shooting into a theory of her hinting at a new album. I witnessed people using photos of the parents crying at the shooting as a reaction image on Twitter. A lot of the replies under Chris Evans’ tweet were joking that he cussed or they were using his tweet as a meme reaction

People dying is not a meme. Is it too much to ask to read the room and not be disrespectful? My first thought when seeing tweets or posts like these is obviously not to make a joke; I don’t understand how people even thought to do that in the first place.

All of this is pretty scary for me considering there was a shooting at the Kalao Restaurant & Night Club in Bloomington only a few weeks ago. My friends and I almost went there before we decided to go to the Upstairs Pub instead. Knowing that I could have been there when it happened is scary enough; I could not imagine what it was like to actually be there. 

Mass shootings have become so common and normalized in our country that some people don’t even take them as seriously anymore. People just post about how their thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s families and then they go right back to liking funny posts on their timelines. 

Other countries have significantly less mass shootings every year, and some haven’t had mass shootings in several years. We as a country need to do something about mass shootings. Regardless of whether  you think banning guns all together or just making them harder to get is the best path forward, I hope we can agree that we need to do something. 

All I know is things are not going to get better if we don’t change anything. As President Biden tweeted, “it is time to turn this pain into action.” How many more shootings do we need to experience to get the point across? Hopefully not any more.

Olivia Franklin (she/her) is a junior studying journalism with a minor in political science. She is a member of the swim club at IU and the Women in Media organization

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