It took only 23 days for the U.S. to witness its 11th school shooting of the year, during which a Marshall County High School student killed two of his classmates and wounded more than a dozen others. The Jan. 23 assault, in Benton, Kentucky, was the second school shooting of the week. It was only a Tuesday.

Despite (or perhaps because of) the recent frequency of such horrors, the story was somewhat lost in a news cycle dominated by Oscar nominations, the end of the government shutdown, and the impending sentencing of Larry Nassar. While the town of Benton was undoubtedly rocked by the incident, the rest of the country’s focus was largely elsewhere. “We have absolutely become numb to these kinds of shootings, and I think that will continue,” former senior FBI official Katherine Schweit told the New York Times in the wake of the shooting.

That numbness undoubtedly has an impact on policy, politics and news coverage of shootings. But on an individual level, experts say, it’s not always apathy — it’s a hardwired protective instinct, at least to a degree.

“Because these things are so overwhelming, our central nervous system basically shuts down …read more

Source:: Time – Science

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