These Events Cannot Be Normalized

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Alyssa Pearson, Staff Writer

Columbine. Sandy Hook. Parkland. Now, Tree of Life Synagogue. That’s only to name a minuscule amount of mass shootings in just the last few years. There are so many tragic acts similar to these everywhere almost everyday, and for the most part they are barely even heard of because they have become so normalized.

The synagogue shooting in Squirrel Hill on Saturday, October 27th has broken my heart, and many others’ too. However, this was not just any shooting, but one driven by hatred towards individuals simply based on their religious views. Eleven lives were taken that day. Eleven- a seemingly small number until measured in human lives. These people gave up their lives simply because of the religion they chose to honor. What started as someone’s religious opinion has now become a violent hate crime. We never stop to think that something as terrible and vicious as this can happen only 25 minutes away from our neighborhood, but as we have learned this weekend, it does. These things can, and do, happen anywhere at anytime with no warning. This has affected everyone in the area in varying ways, some more than others.

It warms my heart to see how much our community, as well as the world, is able to come together in this time. However, it also saddens me to think that we have to. This generation has become so used to tragic events that resemble the one on Saturday. That is not normal. It should never come to the point where anybody should be accustomed to such a terrible thing. It’s difficult to know what we can do to make a change in the world. Do we grieve for a week or two and then forget about it? Or do we drag it out much longer and bring ourselves down in the process? Is there any right or wrong decision we can make, and do we even have the power to truly make a change? One person can only do so much when the whole world is involved. All that you can do is make it known that you do not stand for these heartbreaking incidents that never seem to stop occurring. Keep these events in the back of your mind, and do not forget about how dreadful these shootings are. You may only be one person, but what you can offer matters and will make a change. Do not let the synagogue shooting be just another story in the history books- allow it to push you to strive for a better world in any and every way possible.