So, School Shootings Are Routine Now

Did you know there was a shooting at a high school today, after which three people are dead?

I briefly saw a headline about this on my phone earlier this evening, but when I went to my usual print, broadcast, and online news sources, I didn't see much if any coverage. I really had to look.

So, now this has become routine.

It's around 8:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 7, 2017. According to the current news reports, an attacker at high school in New Mexico shot and killed two students. The suspect is also dead.

Here are five screenshots, taken on my laptop (a Macbook pro with a 13-inch screen, set to its default resolution) just now of the topmost news-containing portions of the homepages of CNN, Fox News, Google News, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

Only one of them lists the New Mexico school shooting story close enough to the top to be included in the visible headlines. See if you can tell which one. You really have to look.

For the others, you have to scroll down, and you still probably have to be looking for it to even notice.

When I log in to Facebook, it shows up among "Trending," but only if I click "see more." On my Twitter, it does not appear among the homepage list of "Trends for you," nor among the worldwide trends if I turn off Tailored Trends.

Unless something surprising develops during the investigation, most of the country may miss this story. In a matter of hours, it too will disappear from homepages and news feeds, eclipsed by scandals, intrigues, and presidential tweets both important and mundane.

If you didn't know (and it would have been easy to miss) that this happened, are you OK with that? How have we--as individuals, and as consumers of media, and as creators of media--let our reality be shaped, or shaped our reality, or ignored our reality to such an extent?

Is it reasonable for a school (in a tiny town most of us have never heard of) to be a place where we have so little expectation of safety that multiple students losing their lives barely registers or completely fails to register as a blip in the national conversation, or in our individual lives?

How do we mourn, discuss, or change the circumstances that make this routine if it is so routine that we don't even notice it?