Last week, we very well could have seen the outcome of tragedy fatigue set in.
In Philadelphia, last Wednesday, a building being manually demolished and which reports say was very unstable, collapsed killing 6 and injuring 13.
Across the way on the left coast, a 23-year old man, identified as John Zawahri, with a history of mental problems killed his father, 55-year old Samir Zawahri and his brother, 25-year old Chris Zawahri, before carjacking a woman and forcing her to drive to Santa Monica College, where he once went to school. On the way, he shot randomly at buses and other vehicles on the street, ending his deranged rampage at the small college, where he shot and killed 3 more. A school employee Carlos Franco had driven his daughter, 26-year old Marcela Franco to campus to purchase new books for summer classes only to find their lives tragically cut short. Zawahri shot another unidentified woman in the head outside the library. Police later found and killed him in the library.
But these two very tragic incidents did not receive the same amount of media coverage, or outpouring of sympathy and attention in social media sites as previous mass deaths. They didn’t garner the same nationwide collective call for donations and relief efforts. Televised profiles of the victims have been few and are trickling in.
Could it be that after mass killings in Aurora, Colorado; Oak Creek, Wisconsin; Newtown, Connecticut and 11 others in 2012; the Boston Bombing; the fertilizer plan explosion in West, Texas; the Moore, Oklahoma Tornado, combined with rapid successive report of other multiple and mass deaths and killings across the country this year that Americans and its media organizations are beginning to grow immune to what used to be shocking news?
It is possible that when faced with nightly local news tragedy and deaths, some are just emotionally spent from bad news and are purposefully electing to not invest too much interest in these recent cases.
And of course this begs the question, will, in short time, we be like residents of the Middle East and other parts of the world where there is constant unrest who have gotten used to periodic mass casualties in their evening news report that they become part of life?
If the comparatively less attention the Philly building crash and Santa Monica rampage shooter is any indication, the answer very well may be yes.