When I heard about the Washington Navy Yard shooting on Sept. 16, I was shocked and my heart went out to all the victims and people affected. That being said, I had some later issues with the way that the media dealt with the coverage and how the public was reacting, or rather not reacting, to this terrible event.

What this shooting exposes is a couple things. First, that the Navy Yard does not have the security that it should, and it was even reported that they were understaffed due to budgetary cuts. This emphasizes a matter of internal security in the US, which is connected the shooting and bombing.

This shooting also highlights the psychological issues present in America within the military community, as well as in the general public. Whenever there is a shooting, which sadly happens too often in the US, the natural assumption is to suspect mental health issues. It was reported that Aaron Alexis, the Navy Yard shooter, was in contact with hospitals prior to the shooting for psychological reasons.

The comparison between this most recent tragedy and the Boston Marathon bombings that happened earlier brings about notable differences. The reaction of the public was so dramatically different between these two attacks. One example of people’s interest in one attack over the other is that the bombing was all over social media, while the shooting was virtually nonexistent in these mediums.

Yes, there are many distinct differences between the Boston Marathon bombings and the Washington Navy Yard shooting, warranting different reactions simply based on different situations.

The bombing was an “act of terrorism” where two bombs were set off, killing three people and injuring 264 out of the more than 26 thousand running the race. The shooting was a confined, half hour incident where the shooter killed 12 people before he himself was killed.

It makes sense that people would be more concerned about the terrorism because of the fear it instills in people and the extended time it took to catch the perpetrators. And yes, there were many more people involved in the bombings, but why does the public care so much more about one than the other?

Terrorism is horrifying, must be paid attention to, and is a hot issue in the US, but isn’t it also a huge issue that one of our own citizens went on a killing spree? Not to mention that the terrorism of the bombings was also done from within. Maybe we should be more focused on mental health issues in the US and ways to prevent all of these tragedies. We should also stop thinking of terrorism as just outsiders attacking us, but that it could also be attacks from within.

Another issue I have is this “war on terror” that we have in the US currently. I hate terrorism as much as the next person, but I think that the definition of terrorism in the United States needs to be redefined. The war on terror began with 9/11, but has now evolved into a much broader issue. Terrorism is violence for political reasons, but they could be any political aim, not narrowly from the Middle East as most people assume.  I think that by contrasting these two incidences, people should really reflect on how media portrays certain events as well as public opinion on different tragedies.

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