Guns and Mass Shootings.

I’m just going to start this by saying I have zero personal interest in ever owning or using a gun, mostly because they freak me out but also I’m so worried about injuring myself or someone. That and the fact that the US has no parallel for gun violence in the world, with our mass shootings this year outnumbering the days, also freaks me out.

Mass shootings in our nation are becoming too normal, something we can’t let happen. We’ve become numb in many ways to these shootings and the coverage feels too routine. (Although it’s weird and really unprofessional that some media outlets have recently pried their way into the San Bernardino suspects’ apartment on live tv.) Media coverage has been routine in numerous ways, including in the differences in how people of color and white people are portrayed. White people are often portrayed as mentally ill or as a lone wolf, while people of color are radicalized and branded as terrorists.

We need to be having real conversations and actions around gun control, rather than the scripted “thoughts and prayers” that go out to the impacted families and communities of gun violence. And that response of sending thoughts and prayers out to those impacted doesn’t really do anything to address the issues at play here. Kali Holloway wrote about some of the worst reactions to the San Bernardino mass shooting, saying that while some high profile politicians have been calling for gun control and pushing back against the NRA, others haven’t been that great.

Similarly, on Wednesday, Igor Volsky called out numerous politicians on Twitter who had been sending their thoughts and prayers to those who had died or been injured in the San Bernardino shooting but also accepted donations and support from the National Rifle Association (NRA). (Some of the politicians included: Rep. Steve Womack, Rep. Bradley Byrne, Rep. Renee Ellmers, and Sen. Deb Fischer.)

There’s so much here to talk about because of the complexity of different issues and that there are numerous issues at play here. Like how the media reacts and portrays these situations, how politicians react and either act or don’t act, the lobbying that plays out to influence legislation on a national level. And while all that happens, the death toll because of gun violence and mass shootings unfortunately continues to grow.

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