A glimpse into what is being published and said about mass shootings and gun regulations following Uvalde

“States with the most gun violence share one trait”
CNN: WHAT MATTERS, Analysis by Zachary B. Wolf
Updated 3:59 PM ET, Thu May 26, 2022

“People can debate the need for more or fewer armed guards at American schools, the use of active shooter drills and the wisdom of the idea that maybe even teachers should be packing heat. But there’s one thing that is indisputable in the available data on gun violence — and the data is limited since until recently the federal government was effectively barred from gathering it. The indisputable fact is that where there are more guns, there are more gun deaths.

Read the full analysis.

The N.R.A Lobbyist Behind Florida’s Pro-Gun Policies
The New Yorker, by Mike Spies

“Marion Hammer’s unique influence over legislators has produced laws that dramatically alter long-held American norms.”
By 2018, “Florida lawmakers had enacted some thirty bills crafted by Hammer, including one of the nation’s easiest concealed-carry statutes and the first Stand Your Ground law, which was later used to justify the killing of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teen-ager. Hammer’s bills ‘set a precedent that can then be exported to other states,'” explained an A.C.L.U. official.
Read the full article.

” ‘It’s straight out of a playbook’: At NRA convention, conspiracy theories abound
To many attendees, the mass shooting in Uvalde was about mental illness and dark forces pushing their own agendas.

POLITICAL: By David Siders
05/227/2022 09:23 PM EDT

“Here, amid acres of guns and tactical gear inside a cavernous convention hall, the proximate cause of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, was not a rifle, but mental illness, shadowy forces of evil or, as one man in a “Let’s Go Brandon” T-shirt put it, the “destruction of our children” by the teachings of the left.”

Read the full article.

States Rush Toward New Gun Restrictions as Congress Remains Gridlocked
The New York Times, Shawn Hubler and Luis Ferré-Sadurni

“SACRAMENTO — Congress failed to impose gun restrictions after the school massacres in Newtown, Conn., and Parkland, Fla., and there’s little confidence that 21 deaths at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, will change matters now.
But states aren’t waiting.

Read the full article.

Why the President, Congress and the Supreme Court can’t – or won’t – stop mass shootings
CNN: What Matters, by Zachary B. Wolf
Photo by EdSource

“This cycle of gun violence is sad, predictable and permanent.
It is permanent because presidents lack power, while Capitol Hill is paralyzed by minority rule.
Part of the country thinks the answer is fewer guns, while another part wants to see more guns everywhere to take down deranged gunmen.
Journalists like me aren’t even writing new stories about how little can happen to address the problem. They’re regurgitating old ones written after previous shootings because nothing has changed. …
Until one or all of those things change, and as long as there are more guns than people in the US, this cycle will continue.”
Read the full article.

by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner, May 24

The tears flow. Anger, a deep and pervasive anger, wracks the body, and the soul. 
We knew there would be an “again,” but the pain is never lessened by the foreboding. 
There is so much to say. And nothing left to say. 
There is so much heartbreak and loss. So much loss. And trauma. And emptiness. And rage. And a knot of mixed emotions that propel us to a sadness that defies our attempts to rationalize these horrors. As they come, once again, in quick succession. 
We like to think of ourselves as a “can-do” country. But we can’t do anything about this plague on our children? The fabric of communities torn apart? 
We like to think we are a special country, and when it comes to gun violence we are — for all the wrong reasons. For reasons that can be measured in graves, and empty desks in classrooms, and lives that will not reach their promise. Then there are the hundreds of thousands of children who have witnessed school shootings. And the millions who have had to imagine and prepare for horrors like these. No other country that matches us in wealth or privilege has this problem. Not even close. 
How can this be acceptable? How can we do nothing? How can we choose to make this horrific pain part of our national birthright? 
There are answers to all of these questions. But they don’t add up to any semblance of sense. This is senseless. And all who condone it, all who offer meaningless “thoughts and prayers,” all who say the answer is more guns and fewer restrictions, are complicit in the carnage. 
I do not think that is a majority of Americans. Not by a long shot. There is a lot more common sense and empathy in the population at large than in the elected leaders who offer fealty to the most extreme interpretations of the Second Amendment. There are measures that can make us safer. There are steps we can take. 
There are no perfect answers, but to accept the unacceptable must never be acceptable.

Change is Possible: with toil and perserverance
Steady, by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

Photo: Gun control advocates confront attendees across from the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

In the days since the slaughter of 19 young children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, my sorrow has only deepened and my anger intensified. 
Sorrow and anger. Anger and sorrow. And a rising tide of rage. It is less waves of emotion and more an eddy, swirling, mixing, churning, never still. I know I am not alone. …
But as I see a groundswell of outrage and determination, I find hope — and steadiness — in the knowledge that other movements have succeeded before. It means never giving up, on the energy it takes to make the difference, or the hope that guides you along the way.”
Read the full article.

MY QUESTION – Can we defeat this with the groundswell we saw in the 1960’s for Civil Rights and against the Vietnam War? We forced the politicians to SEE where the people stood in unison and strength. Can we do it again?

How to Start Solving America’s Gun Culture Problem

Washington Post, Analysis by Sarah Green Carmichael and Francis Wilkinson | Bloomberg

“America’s gun scourge is not about mental illness. It is, and always has been, about the 400 million guns that remain largely unregulated on the streets and in our homes, some of which are then brought to our children’s schools.”

Read the full article.

Political realities have stopped legislative action after school shootings
NPR, Deepa Shivaram

“The horrific mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, has the political world focused — once again — on guns. It’s a topic that spurs a lot of passion, so let’s look at where public opinion stands on it. …
Why haven’t we been able to stop this from happening?
There are two reasons. One is culture and one is politics. We have a very powerful gun-centric movement in this country that both views guns almost as sacred objects and also toys — take Senator Ted Cruz, cooking bacon on the barrel of a semiautomatic rifle, or a 9-year-old using an Uzi at a shooting range with tragic results. Gun culture has enormous influence in our politics; if you look at the way states handle guns, you see wide divergences.”

Read the full article.

Will anything change after Uvalde?
The New Yorker

This week, nineteen children and two adults were shot and killed at Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde, Texas. Ten days earlier, ten people were killed while shopping at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. These horrors join an ever-growing list, one that sparks feelings of sadness, rage, and impotence for many. Writers at The New Yorker, through reporting and analysis, have explored the human costs of these shootings, and where we now stand in the country’s ongoing gun crisis.” Links to those reports below:

Rachel Monroe travelled to Uvalde, where residents were mourning the dead and struggling to come up with solutions. “What do you do, put barbed wire around the school?” one woman asked.

The pediatrician ​​Rachel Pearson described waiting at her San Antonio hospital for children from Uvalde who never arrived.

Susan B. Glasser examined the agonizing political deadlock standing in the way of action: “Biden’s grief and outrage were real—and also just another awful part of business as usual for the American Presidency.”

Amy Davidson Sorkin wrote about the maddening fact that the eighteen-year-old shooters in Texas and Buffalo were able to purchase AR-15s, in a piece that explores the possibility of imposing age restrictions on buyers.

Jessica Winter demanded that we see school shootings for what they are: “If America were not afraid to know itself, we could more readily accept that gun-rights advocates are enthralled with violent sorrow. This is the America they envisaged. It is what they worked so hard for. Their thoughts and prayers have been answered.”

John Cassidy considered examples of successful gun control in other places, such as Australia, Britain, and Israel, that have endured mass shootings. “Other countries haven’t entirely eliminated mass shootings,” he writes, “but they have enacted reforms that helped turn them into rare, aberrational events rather than the everyday occurrences they are in this country.”

While schools brace themselves for the worst, students beg for an end to gun violence
San Diego Union Tribune, Kristen Taketa

Hundreds of Del Norte High School students walked out on the campus quad on May 27, 2022 to remember the victims of the Robb Elementary shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Read the article.

The Atrocity of American Gun Culture:
After mass shootings like those in Uvalde and Buffalo, pro-gun officials say they don’t want to politicize tragedy. But the circumstances that allow for the mass murder of children are inherently political.
The New Yorker, commentary by Jelani Cobb

“In a single ten-day stretch, forty-four people were murdered in mass shootings throughout the country—a carnival of violence that confirmed, among other things, the political cowardice of a large portion of our elected leadership, the thin pretense of our moral credibility, and the sham of public displays of sympathy that translate into no actual changes in our laws, our culture, or our murderous propensities.”

Read the article.

Ted Cruz exchange on guns is deeply revealing
CNN, by Chris Cillizza and Shania Shelton

The Point: Cruz will get away with this. And could even benefit politically from it. But we know what he’s doing.
Read below:

“Following a vigil for the 19 children and two teachers who died in a mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Mark Stone, a US correspondent for the British outlet Sky News, asked Ted Cruz a simple question: “Is this the moment to reform gun laws?”

The following exchange between Stone and the Texas Republican senator, which is long but very much worth reading in full, then occurred:

Cruz: “It’s easy to go to politics …”
Stone: “But it’s important. It’s at the heart of the issue.”
Cruz: “I get that that’s where the media likes to go.”
: “It’s not. It’s where many of the people we’ve talked to here like to go.”
Cruz: “The proposals from Democrats and the media, inevitably, when some violent psychopath murders people …”
Stone: “A violent psychopath who is able to get a weapon so easily — 18-year-old with two AR-15s.”
Cruz: “If you want to stop violent crime, the proposals the Democrats have —  none of them would have stopped this.”
Stone: “But why does this only happen in your country? I really think that’s what many people around the world just — they cannot fathom, why only in America? Why is this American exceptionalism so awful?”
Cruz: “I’m sorry you think American exceptionalism is awful.”
Stone: “I think this aspect of it …”
Cruz: “You’ve got your political agenda. God love you.”

And with that, Cruz ends the interview and walks away, although he does respond once more after Stone continued to press him by saying: “You know what, this kind of politicization … Why is it that people come from all over the world to America? ‘Cause it’s the freest, most prosperous, safest country on Earth. And stop being a propagandist.”
So, yeah. While this is the sort of exchange that Cruz will, undoubtedly tout to his fundraising base as him standing up to the liberal media (or something), it is also revealing about the nature of how a reliable conservative like Cruz chooses to talk about guns — and gun control.
First of all, the notion that Stone is adversarial in ANY way is ridiculous. He is neither rude nor disrespectful. He is persistent, but nothing more.
What Cruz is doing — from the second Stone asks his simple question — is looking for an out, a way to stop talking about a subject he would clearly rather not address.
He finds it when Stone uses the phrase “American exceptionalism” — a watchword in conservative circles for the notion that the US is unique in the world (in a good way).
Stone is trying to make a fairly obvious point — only the US has a mass shooting problem — but Cruz, ever the savvy politician, seizes on the idea that the reporter is suggesting America is not exceptional in any way. (Watch the clip yourself; it’s very clear what Stone means — and how Cruz purposely reinterprets it.)
Cruz leverages the (clearly false) notion that Stone has somehow revealed his bias as a way to end the interview. Whether you like him or not, Cruz is smart. He knows what he is doing. He’s doing it on purpose to score political points and to find a convenient way out of an uncomfortable conversation for which he has no good answers.”

From CNN Business:

 — “From the perspective of trying to mitigate harmful mis- and disinfo,” Caroline Orr Bueno wrote, “it’s hard to put into words how much of a nightmare has been created by law enforcement in Uvalde. It’s an absolute disaster of crisis communication, and it’s totally self-inflicted…” (Twitter

 — “A lot of people ask why journalists talk to victims…and the answer is we cannot always trust what officials tell us about an event,” Lulu Garcia-Navarro wrote Friday. “The painstaking work of understanding what happened and why takes many many conversations with many people…” (Twitter)

 — Case in point, CNN producer Nora Neus was able to interview survivor Miah Cerrillo, age 11, who provided key (and heartbreaking) info that was later affirmed at the press conference… (CNN)

 — David Folkenflik‘s latest: “How do journalists balance the need to hold those in power accountable and to tell the stories of those directly impacted, while respecting space for grief?” (NPR)

CNN’s Reliable Sources Discuss the Media’ Roll in Gun Literacy

Check out some of CNN’s videos on the Media’s role in reporting shootings and the victims and families, as well as the need to educate the public on gun literacy:

  • How Can American Media Outlets Improve Coverage of Guns? CLICK
  • Would Graphic Images Change the Gun Rights Debate? CLICK
  • Unanswered Questions About Uvalde. CLICK
  • It Never Lets Up In Texas. CLICK