Umpqua: The Trivialization of Tragedy (Opinion)

Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is destructive and deadly.

This should not be entertainment, but entertainment is what this has become.

Another gunman is in the news and we will resurrect the ghosts of Columbine, Sandy Hook and so many others. And, yet, we will remain ignorant – for the entertainment, for the apathy, for the money – we will choose not to change.

Ignorance is the usual rhetoric in favor of or against gun control.

Ignorance is a belief that mental illness is adequately addressed in the US.

Ignorance is a belief that the stress and pressure put on students socially and academically does not contribute to these situations.

Ignorance fuels the notion that gun manufacturers care more about your second amendment rights than big tobacco cares about your lungs.

Ignorance is thinking that the pharmaceutical and insurance companies are more concerned about your mental health than the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Ignorance is the idea that college admissions, standardized testing companies and educational publishers truly focus on no child being left behind rather than considering the bottom line.

Ignorance is the belief that elephants and donkeys or red and blue care all that much about what happens to me or to you outside of a voting booth.

This is entertainment. Watch it on the news. Share it on Facebook. Retweet it on Twitter. Argue, bicker and debate, but do nothing beyond complain. Tally your likes. Disseminate the misinformation of whatever headline fills your news feed. Restart the cycle when it happens again.

Reality entertainment doesn’t get any more real than this.

Nobody wants this to happen, but not enough people are willing to put in the work or make the sacrifices necessary to change — they’d rather take their chances and just hope it doesn’t happen to them. Walk the line. Stay the course. Don’t lose followers on social media. Maintain the status quo.

Ignorance is walking a straight line rather than reading between the lines.

By Brian Barsuglia