WASHINGTON - Reports of mass shootings seem to dominate the headlines way too often. Some people even say they are becoming numb to tragedies such as the recent deadly attack in San Bernardino, California.
It is a disturbing fact -- there have been more mass shootings than days in 2015. The question is: Are Americans becoming desensitized to this type of violence?
“I think it's going both ways,” said psychiatrist Dr. Lise Van Susteren. “I think there are people who are becoming desensitized a little bit. Then there are others on the contrary who are becoming more fearful and anxious about what's happening.”
“Unfortunately, I think it has,” said D.C. resident Laura Gibson. “I think it becomes -- I mean it's awful -- it’s just another one. Was there even a week between what happened at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado and this [shooting in California]?”
“No, people aren't desensitized,” Dee Hunter said. “People should be outraged. It's unbelievable. We can't get some form of gun control in this country where these incidents are happening every day.”
However, many feel more passionately than ever about mass shootings, and specifically, about finding ways to prevent them.
“Whatever we’re feeling right now, and a lot of us are feeling a whole jumble of emotions -- there is anger, there is fear, there is a realization that it coarsens the dialogue when we stereotype people and all the rest,” said Dr. Van Susteren. “One of the critical issues is what can we do given we have these strong emotions.”
She said the best way to deal with emotions after violent incidents like mass shootings is to get involved in ways you feel that will make a difference and could lead to change.