Social Question

ragingloli's avatar

So a crazy guy mows down people at a cinema with 12 dead, and all I feel is indifference to the whole thing. Am I alone in my lack of care?

Asked by ragingloli (41619points) July 20th, 2012

It is probably because it happened so far away, but I also did not really care about Breivik’s shenanigans, or even the shooting at the school in Erfurt.
Anyone else having this feeling of “bleh, whatever”?

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42 Answers

DaphneT's avatar

No, you are not alone. This was a tragedy, but only those who are in the vicinity or know someone in that vicinity are likely to feel the disorientation such tragedies cause. The farther away you are, the less likely you’ll feel connected to the problem. Tragedies affect everyone in different ways, totally depends on anything else going on in your life.

chyna's avatar

I hope you are.

josie's avatar

You are not alone. But if you have children, you may be a little out of the mainstream. I am sure a lot of the people who stayed up late to see the premier showing of the Batman movie were young. My sons are the type that might have stayed up with their buddies and gone to the show. They certainly know how to take care of themselves, but an unarmed person in the dark can’t do much against a lunatic with a big rifle. I can not help but but to put myself in the place of parents who may have had children murdered by the degenerate reprobate fuckhead who did it. I would like to have been there with a weapon.

jrpowell's avatar

I kinda feel worse about this than 9/11. But I am more concerned that I found a KitKat wrapper in my diabetic mothers van.

tups's avatar

I can relate to you. I just think it’s weird how people react so much when 12 people dies, but hunger, civil war and a lot more killing goes on another place on the Earth and not many people seems to notice.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Not at all. I feel the same when people want to glorify the deaths of celebrities. People just want to push their own superficial and meaningless values on others and try to make everyone feel the same way they do.

bookish1's avatar

I’ve never even been to the state of Colorado and I don’t know anyone who lives there but this shit has got me pretty shaken all day.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I think many Americans have become numb such incidence of mass murders of strangers committed by people they don’t know in places with which they are not familiar.

Many people may have come to the conclusion that such things happen from time to time and there is nothing a person can do about it.

In a way, I think the sense of apathy in response to such events is as great a reason for concern as are the incidents of mass murder.

Coloma's avatar

I felt a surge of sadness and compassion and my eyes welled up, but, I am not carrying it around with me either. I think if you feel nothing at all your hearts a little hardened.
When we weep for others we weep for ourselves as well, from a sense of shared humanity and empathy.
I think total apathy is becoming more common, sadly.

tinyfaery's avatar

You’re probably not alone, but you sound a bit like a sociopath. Something like this should remind us of our humanity. Those people could have been anywhere doing anything, just like you. You could just as easily lose someone you love.

Someone else said this but I am just as bemused by your apathy as I am about the shooting.

ucme's avatar

Well, you cared enough to ask a question.

Paradox25's avatar

No, violence always shocks me. I think that with so much bad news such as mass killings, child abductions/murders, other violence, etc that maybe we’re as a society getting too used to hearing about these things and seeing them on the news. I rarely watch the news anymore.

wundayatta's avatar

What can you do? What can any of us do?

The answers to these questions will be both national and intensely personal. Perhaps there are national policies that could have had an impact on these events. If no guns were available, this guy would have had a hard time marshalling the firepower he carried. And surely we will hear calls for wider concealed carry permitting, so that people can carry more guns into movie theaters, and be able to shoot back if someone else starts shooting.

But also there was the shooter’s personal story. Why did he do what he did? What were his goals? What were his motivations? The answers to these questions may or may not lead to the prevention of further crimes. But the answers will help people feel like they understand.

No matter what information we get, none of us will probably ever be in a situation where we could do something. We won’t have the power. And if we did have the power, we wouldn’t agree on what should be done. So in the end, we all feel a bit more fear and hopelessness because we know we won’t be able to prevent it from happening again.

It is at times like these that I take comfort in numbers. These events are very rare. It is extremely unlikely that any of us will ever be hurt in a similar situation. They don’t happen often enough. The fact that the news is all over these stories like flies on shit makes us feel like they are more prevalent than they are. Our fight or flight reflexes have kicked in—for many of us. Still others have no such reaction. We yawn and then wonder if there is something wrong with us for not getting anxious because we dodged a bullet.

Personally, I feel that yawning is a sensible response. That doesn’t mean you don’t care. It just means that it is a sensible response, given the danger you are in (none).

Blackberry's avatar

We can’t feel sad for people unless CNN covers it, duh.

Don’t worry, I’m sure the people sympathizing their hardest weren’t a few days ago when people were still dying all over the world.

amujinx's avatar

I don’t see why so many people are worked up about it since there is no way to stop a lone wolf who seeks to inflict death or pain on people. All you can do is hope the system works and the lone wolf is stopped before too many are injured, but there is no way to act like it could have actually been prevented.

Much worse happens in the third world every day, but the same people who are worked up about this can’t be bothered to concern themselves that it happens daily in other parts of the world. I may be a jerk for being pretty apathetic to the whole thing, but at least I’m not being a hypocrite and only caring when the news says I should.

filmfann's avatar

Have you ever been tested using a Voight-Kampff machine?

DominicX's avatar

Well, I am definitely desensitized to it. Mass shootings are a fad now.

syz's avatar

@filmfann Huh. I had forgotten about that. Been too long since I watched Blade Runner.

woodcutter's avatar

People here in the US seem to feel they are entitled to a safe world, that there is some entity that has our backs 24 hours a day. These are the one’s who deflate badly when they finally realize just how cruel the world really is and cling to the premise that we gotta just make more laws to help regain that fantasy of security. I suppose having their minds deep in a fantasy secure world even though their person will never be, is better than nothing.

There was nothing that any law ,real or imagined ,that could have stopped this.

woodcutter's avatar

@DominicXMass shootings are a fad now.

Oh really? That’s an interesting claim. I guess I don’t really know the difinition of fad. So I checked to be sure. Here ya go. v v v

DominicX's avatar

@woodcutter Alright, “fad” is not the best word…“trend” I suppose works better and is less specific.

woodcutter's avatar

@DominicX Even “trend” seems off here. As in “trendy”. I can’t call this anything but an Isolated incident that gets hammered into the ground each and every time one such event happens. They are no less bad, and they will conjure up thoughts and images of when it happened before, as well as MSM re-beating that story into the ground again, in the same news segment that has the effect of stringing them together. I can easily see how some will say “only here in America” There’s the Columbine one, and the one in Texas ,and Virginia Tech, etc, etc. All loners carefully planning these. All under the radar so making it impossible to stop. There has to be a few good stories out there where the bad guy got caught before he acted but in the usual MSM custom they are buried somewhere.

woodcutter's avatar

What Is going to be done to soothe people now that this has happened? We all know more gun laws won’t change that, but some will say ”its a step in the right direction” That will amount to a law that reiterates that murder is still illegal. And people will feel better. What will most likely happen is ticket prices are going to go up as theaters with feel the pressure to post guards at the movies and that will add to their overhead. Armed guards? There goes their insurance premiums. That particular theater will face many lawsuits now but who can blame the victims? I can imagine now that the cost of going to a new movie is going to be yet more costly than it is now. This is my prediction that the Batman movie won’t miss a beat when it comes to its gross earnings, in fact it may get a bump because of it although I’m not sure how it would be measured.

Berserker's avatar

I’m not entirely sure mass killings of this fashion are either a trend or a fad. They have been going on forever, long before people even created firearms. According to Wiki, the first recorded school shooting in America occurred in 1764. Mass public murders are probably as ancient as we are, it just may stick out more now, since our weapons are a lot more deadly and powerful. The intent behind though, whatever it is, sure is no trend. :/

bookish1's avatar

@amujinx : Please to not generalize. I give a shit about what happens in other parts of the world, I assure you.

athenasgriffin's avatar

I find that I am less moved by these huge, murderous rampages than most people are. Children being harmed and people being raped and torture are really the main forms of violence that truly make me sick. Everything else is just an event that happened, that I don’t have much emotional reaction to.

I suppose it is because death itself isn’t as unnatural as the other forms of violence. (Especially children. That makes me horribly upset.)

amujinx's avatar

@bookish1 Just because you actually care about what happens in other parts of the world doesn’t change the fact that I highly doubt you are shaken for an entire day thinking about how shit like this and worse happens all the time and just doesn’t get reported to the extent that an incident like this does. So while you may care, you don’t let it affect you until a huge local case occurs that the media will cover into the ground.

The point is that people only get shaken when an event like this happens in the first world since it gets tons of coverage and destroys their sense of security about living in a “good place”. The occasional blurb about something like this from elsewhere gets blown over quickly and with no fanfare (and I’ve never encountered anyone who actually has it ruin their day).

While I am continuing to generalize,the fact remains the people who treat every incident they hear about as the tragedy that each is are extremely few and far between, and it’s a waste of both my time and anyone reading what I’m saying to toss in exclusions for every little thing for a handful of people. So if you are truly that much of a bleeding heart, then congratulations, you are part of the handful I’m not talking about. My point still remains about just about everyone else though.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I certainly don’t feel indifferent to it but my reaction (and that of those around me) was more “shit, did you hear what happened in Denver?” rather than that of heartbreak. I think this is because it is so far away from me, if it had been in my home town (or even my country – I felt very freaked out by the shootings in Cumbria a couple of years ago) my emotions would have been much stronger.

bookish1's avatar

@amujinx: Wow, you can read my mind! How did you do that?

wildpotato's avatar

I don’t think you are alone, and I don’t think that feeling the way you do is wrong, if feelings can even be characterized that way. Seems like a sensible, possibly adaptation-selected psychological reaction for a person to not care overmuch about disasters and atrocities that don’t affect that person.

For my part, I definitely do not have the meh feeling. I am pissed that some motherfucker terrorized people in my hometown. Feels like Columbine all over again.

I think this difference in feeling, despite your example to the contrary, has quite a lot to do with human territorial instincts. I know it’s a bit ridiculous, but I’m almost more indignant about this than Columbine because this jackass came from Cali.

flutherother's avatar

I had planned to see the Batman movie but I don’t think I will now. Seeing the violence that is in these movies come to life is disturbing.

rooeytoo's avatar

Somehow or other incidents such as this seem to be worse than the war and associated terror we hear about on the news every day. These were completely innocent people who were simply going to a movie in a country that is not in the throes of a war. If you live in a country that is at war you know what could happen. These incidents are completely out of the blue. In my head that somehow makes it worse. Plus the fact that it happened in the country of my birth, that makes it more personal than when things happen somewhere I have no connection to. Also those who live in a warring country do have the option to pack up and leave, these folks didn’t have that option. They were theoretically anyhow in a “safe” place. To me 9/11 was the same thing but on a bigger scale.

serenade's avatar

I found it annoying that all three network national news programs devoted their entire newscasts to the event, especially ABC since they dressed theirs up with a cheesy special graphic and title. As if this were thr only news of the day. A longer segment at the top of the newscasts would have said just as much.

It’s also tiring to have the flag flying at half mast for every goddamned thing. We might as well just leave it there.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It didn’t hit me that hard. Columbine hit me harder, but my kids were also in HS at the time.

However, I went to CNN and they had pictures of the 12 people who died, and it really hit my heart like a bullet when I saw that one of them was only 6 years old. A little girl. That rocked me.

snapdragon24's avatar

Yeh I get why you feel ‘blah’ about it. But lately there has been so many tragedies in France, Norway, Syria, Belgium that I dont find myself indifferent to this at all… so many innocent children died in 2011 through 2012 via unexpected mass murder acts…I dont have to be there to understand how awful it is!

Pazza's avatar

I think its easy to detach yourself from a situation when your not there. Had a person been there viewing the carnage with people lying bleeding and dying in front of them and still felt indifference, well that would make them a special kind of person. That would make them a sociopath.

If anyone is an individual that wants to find out if your a sociopath, just google pictures of children that have been killed, maimed, or even just children that are crying, if you still feel indifference, then I think you got problems.

But don’t worry, you won’t see it as a problem, you’ll simply see love and compassion as a weakness to be exploited like politicians and stock brokers do.

ragingloli's avatar

Oh I certainly feel something when I see killed, or maimed children.
I think it is called ‘arousal’.

rooeytoo's avatar

It’s like little localized versions of hunger games.

Pazza's avatar

@ragingloli PMSL… I do hope that was written for comedy value? (my bad for laughing aswel haha)

I heard a rumour that at the Empire State building incident, that some people casually walked past wounded and bleeding people without batting an eyelid or stopping to help. I find that very worrying.

Maybe the person who casually walked on by was a stock broker?
I think it fair to say they weren’t likely to be a paramedic…....

woodcutter's avatar

People just went about their day? @Pazza

Pazza's avatar

@woodcutter – I have no idea, I live in the UK, and don’t watch the main stream media, but I heard a conversation on an internet radio show on which they claimed ‘that some people casually walked past’. The point I was trying to make was that, if that was the case, and that/those particular individual(s) wern’t sociopaths, then western society is in big trouble, as it would appear on average people are becoming more and more appathetic and desensitised to insidents like the one that occurred outside the empire state building.

But as I’ve said, I have no idea and from my perspective its all hearsay.

woodcutter's avatar

@Pazza This would not be the first I’ve heard of people just walking past people in trouble in the US. It could just be the city mentality that someone else will step up, or they don’t want to be involved because here in the US it seems “no good deed goes unpunished” Even with good Samaritan laws in most places there still can be a lot of BS a person would be subject to just for wanting to help out.

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