The Responses to Yesterday’s Tragic School Shooting Are as Predictable as the Lack of Action
Yesterday marked the third deadliest school shooting in the United States, with 17 people killed. It was the 18th school shooting of 2018, though it’s only the seventh week of the year. With that in mind, it makes a lot of sense that there’s been a ton of outcry since the events unfolded yesterday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, and the all-too-expected response to that outcry makes less sense than ever.
On Fox News, pundits extolled the virtues of the AR-15, the gun used in this shooting and many others, while decrying efforts (specifically by Senator Chris Murphy) to actually have conversations about how to stop this kind of thing from happening. Donald Trump’s main concern was tweeting about the warning signs about the shooter in this particular case, urging people to report such things to authorities, though one of his first acts in office was to revoke an Obama-era gun regulation that would have made it more difficult for people with mental illness to buy guns. Not only that, but Trump is already a huge fan of blowing off one of the most common warning signs (again showing up in this case) as long as the person in question has denied it: domestic abuse.
A purported student from the school raked him over the coals for doing less than nothing to reduce gun violence, and sadly, the responses to her tweet are full of people trying to explain why gun control supposedly doesn’t work, trotting out the same tired arguments we’ve all heard before. But whether or not we can stop all shootings by enacting new gun laws, doing nothing is not the answer. Gun defenders often like to say shootings like this are a mental health issue, not a gun issue, but it’s not only misleading to place the blame there rather than on guns, it’s disingenuous to act like we can’t tackle both issues and instead choose to address neither effectively.
Meanwhile, members of Congress are still taking tons of money from the NRA, even as a majority of citizens want stricter gun laws. Jimmy Kimmel Live! writer Bess Kalb took time out of her day to remind them just how much money they’ve taken to continue doing nothing about this problem yesterday, responding to each one who offered no more than the predictable thoughts, prayers, and condolences with their own personal dollar amount—not to mention how much they spent getting Donald Trump elected.
If there’s one bright spot here, it’s the way the kids involved have reacted.
the kids are better than us pic.twitter.com/D1Is2hNDm2
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) February 15, 2018
The video, for those who are asking. pic.twitter.com/KCCfuiFhQK
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) February 15, 2018
They’re asking us to be the adults here, and too many people—and lawmakers—are failing miserably at that simple task. Reporters scrambled to ask a student who was still hiding within the school if they could use a picture he took for their coverage, but for too many people, there’s no such speed or diligence in demanding something be done about this.
When I wrote this headline, I had no idea it would be applied to the high school a mile from my house. https://t.co/Vm1jCaiugo
— Jason Roeder (@jasonroeder) February 15, 2018
— The Onion (@TheOnion) February 14, 2018
(image: Elvert Barnes on Flickr)
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