The psychology behind why we feel so helpless after school shootings

This week has been particularly busy. On Tuesday, 19 children and two adults were gunned down at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The shooting came just over a week after a white gunman opened fire on a Buffalo supermarket in a black neighborhood and killed 10 people.

These headlines leave us feeling emotional but often stuck on what to do next – and then the horrible cycle continues. My colleague Alia E. Dastagir describes a kind of “learned helplessness” that we adopt in these situations that have almost become normal for us. Here is an excerpt from his piece:

We read the same headlines, see the same cries, criticize or call for the same prayers and find ourselves desperately in the same debate. Until we move on and a moral imperative evaporates.

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