At our current pace, there will be a mass shooting today. This page will soon become like 100 other mass shooting memorial pages on our website.
A mass shooting today will likely look similar to previous shootings. A fully-armed man perceiving some injustice will take his aggressions out on unsuspecting civilians. There is a 50/50 chance he will take his own life. While the names and faces change, the story remains the same.
Mass Shooting. Rinse. Repeat.
Unfortunately, our reactions also stay the same. We’ve grown uncomfortably used to the never-ending cycle of coverage.
- Does this sound familiar?
- News of a mass killing hits your TV set, newsfeed, or social media channel.
- You have a mix of feelings like anger, frustration, sadness, fear, empathy, guilt, and relief.
- The news cycle and your daily life continued.
Is doing nothing the result of being jaded or lazy? That’s doubtful. It is likely result of not knowing what to do.
Until recently, this was my cycle as well. I’ve lived in the Boulder area since 2006. Then, in March of 2021, a gunman killed 10 people near my home. This motivated me to do something. As a way to deal with my own feelings, I created a spreadsheet and started reading obituaries about the people killed in mass shootings – starting with Boulder. As I was doing that, I realized that it’s difficult to find information on victims without the killer being named. It was then that I started logging information on victims from other mass shootings. Eventually, this site was born. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a small step. I may not immediately be changing the world, but I can feel a change in myself.
The process of researching the victims of each murder can be gut wrenching. It can also be rewarding to read about some truly incredible people I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Somewhere, while uploading the first 400 profiles, I started feeling different. I felt less helpless and more pissed off that our country allows this to be normalized. It’s not normal.
It can be frustrating to watch the discourse around mass shootings devolve into an argument about gun control. It’s important, but we are not getting anywhere only focusing on gun control. The overwhelming majority of gun owners are good people who behave responsibly. We need to keep the focus on stopping these incidents – period. To get there, we need to focus on all issues that contribute to this public health issue. We need to invite responsible gun owners to be a part of the solution.
We can no longer choose to live in a country where this is tolerated.
There are many different angles that can prevent future mass shootings. So, whichever side of a gun control debate you’re on, join me in doing something. This cycle doesn’t stop until we choose to end it.
Prevent Tomorrow’s Mass Shooting
Here are some organizations I’ve found in my own research. Pick your preferred way to end the violence. At least read what they have to say. By taking one step, you may someday prevent one of your loved ones from being listed on this site.
- Gun Safety
- Media Responsibility
- Potential Shooter Identification
- Know What to Do