Less than a month after gunmen shot more than 120 people dead in Paris, the world is mourning again after another heartbreaking tragedy: on Tuesday, Dec. 2, a shooting in San Bernardino (just an hour east of Los Angeles) killed 14 people and injured 21 others.
The victims of the incident were gathered for a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center, a facility that serves over 31,000 people with developmental disabilities in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
The world just doesn’t seem so safe anymore, and an article by The New York Times depicts how thousands of readers feel that way: many said they felt anxiety while doing everyday activities, like riding the subway and attending religious services, in fear of attacks like this.
How can we not be afraid? The San Bernardino shooting marked the 355th mass shooting (defined as an incident with at least four deaths or injuries resulting from gunfire) in the United States in 2015 alone, and the year isn’t even over.
The suspects of the attack were a couple, one who was an employee of San Bernardino County. His coworkers and those acquainted with him described him as a quiet guy who was polite and showed no irregular behavior.
Who would have thought such a horrific event would take place at a gathering to celebrate the holidays? It doesn’t appear as though those who knew the county employee suspect – based on their testimonies – did.
But here we are today. Fourteen people gone, people who were fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands… And more than a dozen others are in hospitals.
In spite of all of this, it’s my hope that America, along with the rest of the world, doesn’t start treating Muslims as lesser beings, since reports have highlighted the suspect’s Muslim faith.
I also stand by what I wrote after the Paris incident in November: events like this shouldn’t compel us to live in fear. Fear is understandable at a time like this, but fear is crippling. At the very least, we can fight our fears while exercising caution and living our lives, keeping in mind that in the natural course of our lives, we have no control over when, where or how we die.
Do we want to die having held back in life because of fear?