With the saturation media coverage of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings, there hasn't been anything new that we could add here at LIA. However, I have run across a few very interesting articles from various perspectives that are worth sharing. I also have a slight rant about said media coverage....
Dear CNN, MSNBC, FOX, CBS, local affiliates, etc:
Would you please stop jumping to conclusions, scrambling to be the first to report bad information, and reporting rumor as fact during a crisis? And for heaven's sake, if you're going to presume to know the name of the shooter and disseminate that information - along with a link to his Facebook page - how about making sure you have the right person? Really, we're all grown-ups here and understand that in the middle of a crisis situation, the first responders have more important things to do than talk to your roving reporters. The survivors don't need to be harassed, interviewed, or videoed while in such a vulnerable state. Have some respect for the people grieving for their friends, co-workers, and the children.
"How do you feel?" you guys ask them. How the heck do you think the feel? Of all the dumbass questions, that one takes the cake.
Now.... on to some interesting perspectives on what comes next.
Jeffery Goldberg at The Atlantic makes the case for more people carrying guns in public. Note that this article is in the current issue and so was written well before this recent tragedy.
The Case for More Guns - And More Gun Control
America’s level of gun ownership means that even if the Supreme Court—which ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment gives citizens the individual right to own firearms, as gun advocates have long insisted—suddenly reversed itself and ruled that the individual ownership of handguns was illegal, there would be no practical way for a democratic country to locate and seize those guns.
Anti-gun activists believe the expansion of concealed-carry permits represents a serious threat to public order. But what if, in fact, the reverse is true? Mightn’t allowing more law-abiding private citizens to carry concealed weapons—when combined with other forms of stringent gun regulation—actually reduce gun violence?
Atlantic Cities discusses The Geography of Gun Violence and there's a distressing big blue blob in the middle of Alabama. And it sends a chill through this parent who's moving her only child to Birmingham in a few weeks to attend UAB:
The rates vary substantially from a high of 32.8 in New Orleans to a low of 3.6 in Boston. Birmingham has the second highest rate with 20.5, followed by Memphis with 19.8. Las Vegas (17.6) and Jacksonville (17.5) round out the top five metro rates.
There are more maps & statistics, with this interesting finding:
While one would think gun violence would be higher in states with higher levels of economic anxiety related to unemployment or inequality, we found no association to either at the state level. My colleagues and I did, however, find gun deaths to be higher in states with higher levels of poverty and lower incomes, as well as in red states and those with more blue-collar working class economies. Conversely, we found gun deaths to be less likely in states with more college graduates and stronger knowledge-based economies.
Reid Wilson, editor in chief of the National Journal, says that if there are to be any changes in gun laws or attitudes, President Obama must take the lead in the conversation and the debate - something that he was reluctant to do during his first term:
Gun sales have spiked during Obama's first four years in office, prompted by fears that the president will take steps to restrict future purchases or, in the minds of conspiracy theorists, orchestrate some plot to rob Americans who still cling to their guns and religion. The ironic truth is that the administration hasn't done anything to justify those fears.
The whole world is talking about this issue. One example is the UK's Globe and Mail. Justice for Newtown's Tiny Victims News US to Talk About Gun Control:
And the first limit ought to be a ban on automatic and semi-automatic rifles, and the components that allow weapons to be “upgraded” to such capabilities. This is not about hunting – anyone hunting quail with a Glock should probably stop calling it a sport. It is about what can no longer lawfully constitute a “personal” or “recreational” firearm in the interest of public safety.
What - if anything - do y'all think should happen? Changes in the laws? Better mental health care? More or fewer concealed carry permits?