Islamic Terror and the Death of Outrage

It seems like the bad news won’t stop coming. There was Paris and Brussels and San Bernardino and Orlando and just a few days ago Istanbul and now Dhaka in Bangladesh. We’re shocked and outraged every time it happens – until we’re not. And that’s why we should be worried: We’re getting used to it. It’s not just innocents who are dying. So is our outrage.

Forty-nine Americans were massacred at a dance club in Orlando – the deadliest mass shooting ever in America. It didn’t happen that long ago. So why does it already feel like ancient history?

Remember how shocked we were when they attacked Paris? Are you still shocked? Do you think about it anymore?

If they could slaughter travelers at the airport in Brussels and just a few days ago in Istanbul, they could do it here. We all know that. But Brussels is a distant memory, if that. And Istanbul soon will be.

I know what the problem is and so do you. We’re starting to think this is just how it’s going to be, at least for a while. We’re starting to think that it’s … normal.

Maybe that’s how we’re wired. Maybe we evolved in such a way so that we accept even horrible things so we can move on and live our lives, so that we won’t become debilitated.

Maybe. But it’s one thing to know that it’s probably going to happen again and quite another to accept it — if accept is the right word — to be angry for 10 minutes before we shrug and move on. If we lose our outrage we’ve lost way too much. That’s why I’m worried. I think we’re heading down that road.

Happy Fourth of July!