It feels as though it’s happening everyday: Bodies of the innocent strewn across the airport, the nightclub, the subway. And while we catalog the atrocities with varying degrees of horror, we quickly return to the TV, the meal, the commute, accustomed to a world where the threat of violence is part of the routine.
Experts call it “terrorism fatigue.” It’s when we find ourselves shrugging at the bombing at the Istanbul airport this week. It’s when we shake our heads in June at Orlando, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, but gun control remains gridlocked. It’s when we barely remember that more than 70 people, many of them children, died in an attack at a Pakistan park in March.
We have settled into a world where terrorism is the new reality, which has ramifications for how we react to violence, how we react to one another and how we deal with global conflict. It affects the speed and ease with which we move on from bloodshed, it strips us of our ability and willingness to identify with victims in places with cultures unlike our own, and it can keep governments from trying to stop or prevent violence, at home and abroad.