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The Scene:

An active shooter killed five people on Thursday afternoon in a targeted shooting at Annapolis’ Capital Gazette. The suspect, Jarrod Ramos of Laurel, MD, is in custody and has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder. This incident marks the 154th mass shooting of 2018 and will undoubtedly bring gun control debate into the spotlight once again.

The Takes:

UConn Daily Campus: Amar Batra believes “America is complicit in the murders of everyone killed in a mass shooting.”

•    “Every single time a shooting in the United States happens, the pro-gun control lobby pushes for gun-control and restrictions on guns. The gun-lobby on the other hand pushes back and always wins.”

•    “If now is not the time, then when? When do we actually enact change and stop good Americans from being killed?”

Ohio State Lantern: Zach Varda sees “rhetoric but no policy proposals” in the days after mass shootings.

•    Shootings follow a general aftermath timeline where “public discourse has followed the usual pattern of calls for stricter background checks or categorical bans” but “gun rights advocates have pushed back” and halted policy.

•    “Young people [who] have taken to social media and news broadcasts to lend their voices” could “lead to change [this] troubling pattern.”

•    “While praising their courage, some critics have claimed the students are still too young to be shaping policy, but nonetheless their words have brought more eyes to the issue.”

Harvard Political Review: Rachel Tropp challenges “the ‘good guy with a gun’ myth.”

•    “It appeals to a simplistic (if zero-sum) binary: good versus evil. As in any action movie worth its salt, there will always be a hero waiting to swoop in and save the day, killing the bad guy and getting the acclaim.”

•    "Interestingly, NRA revenue rises following each successive mass shooting.”

•    “By telling unprepared civilians it’s their responsibility to be heroes, the NRA contributes to the possibility that “good guys” add to the confusion at the crime scene.”

•    “Shootings are messy, chaotic, confusing, and imperfect. Good guys with guns can’t always save the day without endangering themselves or others.”


The Bottom Line:

College students have been generally uniform in calling on politicians to address America’s gun violence epidemic. These calls have gone largely unheard. Congressional dysfunction, one symptom of heightened political polarization, has prevented meaningful policy in the aftermath of these staggering tragedies. As mass shootings have become increasingly prevalent, this college student has noticed a gradual societal desensitization to horrific violence. As media and technology have created faster news cycles and shorter attention spans, victims of senseless violence are being more quickly forgotten for the next big story.  

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