Following the tragic shooting at an Oregon college yesterday that left 10 people dead, President Obama addressed gun violence in America. During the speech (which you can watch below), he said, “America will wrap everyone who’s grieving with our prayers and our love,” but added, “Our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It’s not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel. And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America—next week, or a couple of months from now."
As he as done following other mass shootings, President Obama said that in order to address on-going gun violence, the nation must implement more effective gun safety laws.
When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer. When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make communities safer. When roads are unsafe, we fix them to reduce auto fatalities. We have seatbelt laws because we know it saves lives. So the notion that gun violence is somehow different, that our freedom and our Constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon, when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who could hunt and protect their families and do everything they do under such regulations doesn’t make sense.
He also asked media outlets to publish information on how gun violence in America differs from other developed countries. As we recently showed in this info graph, the United States has far more deaths from guns than most other developed countries. Discuss
According to local news reports, 40 people in Chicago were shot this weekend. An 11-year-old girl at a slumber party—who was killed by a bullet that entered a bedroom from outside the home—was among four of the victims who have died. The violence comes after a spree of shootings on July 4 weekend, when 17 Chicago residence were killed by gunfire ... Discuss
One person was killed and two others injured yesterday when a 26-year-old named Aaron Ybarra opened fire on students at Seattle Pacific University. Authorities say Ybarra is not a student at the Christian college, which was first founded as a seminary. According to a report in The Seattle Times, the gunman was pepper sprayed and tackled by a student working as a building security monitor when he stopped to reload his shotgun.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee said students "put themselves in real danger to protect classmates from further violence and to aid and comfort the victims ...Those selfless and brave acts should remind us of the indomitable spirit of young people," he said."
Ybarra has been taken into custody, while police are still trying to determine a motive ... Discuss
A new study conducted by teams at Ohio State University and the Annenberg Public Policy Center has found that in major blockbusters, gun violence is more common in movies rated PG-13 than movies that are rated R. The researchers looked at the 30 highest grossing films for each year from 1950 through 2012, and founded that since 1985, the amount of gun violence in films rated PG-13 has been rising “considerably.” And while MPAA standards on issues like the use of profanity, nudity and sexual content are relatively clearly defined, acceptable levels of violence and gunplay in films marketed to teens is an area that is often not as obvious.
Researchers have even suggested that there could be a link to exposure to gun-related entertainment and actual acts of aggression, because of a phenomenon known as the “weapons effect.” In their research, they said, “By including guns in violent scenes, film producers may be strengthening the weapons effect and providing youth with scripts for using guns.” Evidently, blockbuster filmmakers have just run out of original ideas and are now simply employing the Michael Scott philosophy of screenwriting … Discuss