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World: The Struggle to Overcome Mass-Shooting Cynicism

Car used in Young Dolph’s killing tied to 2nd deadly shooting days prior by police

  Car used in Young Dolph’s killing tied to 2nd deadly shooting days prior by police Police in Tennessee Monday announced that they've tied the car involved in the killing of rapper Young Dolph to a different deadly shooting that took place days earlier. The previous attack left a woman dead and another person wounded days before the ambush on the 36-year-old hip-hop artist at a local bakery in Memphis. Two men exited a white Mercedes-Benz and fired shots into the business where Young Dolph was buying cookies Wednesday and killed him, Memphis police said. Police previously released photos taken from surveillance video that captured the shooting.

  The Struggle to Overcome Mass-Shooting Cynicism © C-SPAN

At first, the video offers a perspective we’ve seldom seen: an inside-the-classroom view of high-school students trying to evade an active shooter. Kids crouch below their desks and strategize in hushed tones. The lights are off. Fearing that the voice on the other side of the door is that of a killer, they flee. Then, as teenagers push open a window and thrust themselves to safety, the footage starts to look familiar.

The scene at Oxford High School on Tuesday afternoon evoked the April 20, 1999, Columbine massacre with eerie symmetry. Twenty-two years ago, such events were deemed “unthinkable.” Columbine yielded wall-to-wall news coverage in a way that this week’s Michigan shooting, and many others over the past two decades, have not. Even the ones that register as more than a blip eventually fade from the national conversation and public consciousness. Nearly four years have passed since Parkland—the school shooting that many (falsely) believed would finally catalyze American gun reform. December 14 will mark the ninth anniversary of the day first graders were annihilated with an assault weapon inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Back then, Senator Chris Murphy was a House Democrat, representing the state’s Fifth Congressional District. The Newtown parents were his constituents. One of the Sandy Hook moms, Jackie Barden, told Murphy that she used to pretend that her dead son, Daniel, was off playing at a friend’s house, and that he would soon come home. By telling herself this, Barden could momentarily find the mental strength to complete basic tasks like vacuuming her house. “It was just so terrifying to me that she needed to create this world in which Daniel was still alive in order to just get through a few hours,” Murphy told me yesterday.

[Read: Americans don’t really understand gun violence]

On Tuesday, Murphy took to the Senate floor, attacking his colleagues’ inaction on gun control. Murphy’s speech racked up retweets and praise, the liberal equivalent of thoughts and prayers. His message was more or less in line with the one he’s been delivering for nearly a decade. Still, there was something different about his tone on Tuesday: rage.

Tacoma mall shooting sends Black Friday shoppers fleeing; at least one wounded

  Tacoma mall shooting sends Black Friday shoppers fleeing; at least one wounded A manhunt was underway in western Washington state late Friday after gunfire in a crowded Tacoma mall on Black Friday left at least one person wounded. No active shooter remained at the Tacoma Mall, about 30 miles south of Seattle, FOX 13 of Seattle reported. The shooting sent shoppers running, with some sheltering in place and stores forced to lock down. NORTH CAROLINA BLACK FRIDAY MALL SHOOTING SENDS CUSTOMERS SCRAMBLING, 3 SHOT, 1 IN CUSTODY © Getty Images At least one person was wounded Friday evening in a shooting at the Tacoma Mall. Tacoma is about 30 miles south of Seattle.

“It happens here, in America, because we choose to let it happen,” Murphy said in his address. “We’re not unlucky; this is purposeful. This is a choice made by the United States Senate to sit on our hands and do nothing while kids die.” He paced behind the lectern, shaking his head in disgust, furrowing his brow, waving his right hand as if trying to swat the problem away in the ether. “Make no mistake about it: There is a silent message of endorsement sent to would-be killers, sent to individuals whose brains are spiraling out of control, when the highest levels of the U.S. government does nothing, shooting after shooting.

Earlier that day, in advance of a Supreme Court case that may eventually overturn Roe v. Wade, some of Murphy’s Republican colleagues had spoken about the sanctity of human life. Later, after Murphy had left the Capitol for the night, he seethed over what he saw as GOP hypocrisy. Murphy figured the Michigan shooting might have been prevented had Republicans not spent years blocking gun reform at the federal level. So he turned around and drove back to the Senate to say as much.

Three dead, eight wounded in US high school shooting

  Three dead, eight wounded in US high school shooting A 15-year-old student opened fire at his Michigan high school on Tuesday, killing three teenagers and wounding eight other people before surrendering to police, authorities said, in what was the deadliest US school shooting so far this year. In February 2018, a man with an AR-15 assault rifle opened fire in his former high school in Parkland, Florida, killing 17, in the deadliest-ever high school shooting. Shannon Watts, the founder of the group Moms Demand Action, called for more action to control firearms, saying there are 400 million guns owned by civilians across the country.

“My anger [Tuesday] night was real—it was visceral,” Murphy said. “It comes from a parent who’s sick and tired of having his kids go through active-shooter drills. But it also comes from a policy maker who doesn’t want his country to start to think that this is something we have to live with. This is in our control. We still have the ability to pass laws that change the trajectory of gun violence in this nation. Sometimes you need to show emotion to wake people out of their complacency.”

We talked about the unnerving student videos that had been ricocheting around TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter. It’s one thing to see a screenshot of an “I love you” message that a fearful teenager texts to family members; it’s another to watch a shaky cellphone video of a scrum of high schoolers running for their lives. Still, even those images are of survivors. Sheriff Michael Bouchard of Oakland County, Michigan, told CNN yesterday morning that he had reviewed the school’s security-camera footage, and that the 15-year-old suspect was firing at close range, aiming for his victims’ head or chest. The public will likely never see graphic crime-scene photos from this or other mass shootings—a thorny issue that has divided gun-control advocates for years.

Michigan school shooting: Family of victim Justin Shilling loss leaves 'gaping hole'

  Michigan school shooting: Family of victim Justin Shilling loss leaves 'gaping hole' The family of one of the victims killed by a school shooter in Oxford, Michigan released a statement Friday saying the tragedy left a “gaping hole” in their family."Our hearts are broken and yet still go out to the other families suffering this very same loss at this very same moment and which is beyond imagination, nothing any family should have to endure," the family of 17-year-old Justin Shilling, who was one of the four people killed in a school shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan this week, said in a statement.

“I wonder if this country would accept school shootings the way we do if they saw pictures of what those kids looked like in Sandy Hook after their little bodies were riddled with holes,” Murphy said. “I don’t want to overstate the images that I’ve seen, but I’ve certainly seen images from Sandy Hook that others haven’t, and those images are motivating. No parent wants their dead child’s picture on the news. But, you know, it was Emmett Till’s open casket that changed the civil-rights movement. And maybe it’s that viral video from [Tuesday] that starts to make people think whether they really want their kid to experience something like that.”

Sometimes, even the experience of being shot is not enough to change a person’s mind about guns. I asked Murphy whether he’s spoken with people like his old House colleague Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the Republican minority whip who was wounded in the 2017 congressional-baseball shooting.

“What's discouraging about the baseball shooting is that it seemed to harden people’s beliefs, in part because there were good guys with guns,” Murphy said. “I think for Steve, it hardened his belief that we need to have more guns rather than less guns. I can’t put myself in his shoes, but that certainly is discouraging for those of us who look at the data and see that where more guns exist, more gun crimes exist.” (Four years after the failed attempt on his life, Scalise advertises his strong support of the Second Amendment, concealed-carry reciprocity, and an A+ rating from the NRA on his government website.)

Parents of Michigan school shooting suspect deny manslaughter charges as bail set

  Parents of Michigan school shooting suspect deny manslaughter charges as bail set The parents of a teenage school shooting suspect who disappeared after they were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter have pleaded not guilty. © N/A James and Jennifer Crumbley were arrested in Detroit hours after going missing. Pic: Oakland County Jail The bail bond for James and Jennifer Crumbley, aged 45 and 43, was set at $500,000 each at an arraignment hearing which was held virtually. The couple were also told they could each face up to 15 years behind bars.Mrs Crumbley cried as she told judge Julie Nicholson that she understood the charges.

[Read: Why the AR-15 is so lethal]

That lawmakers are at odds over whether students should have to crawl through classroom windows on random afternoons to avoid being shot to death illustrates the bleak state of the gun-reform conversation. I wanted to know what advice Murphy would offer parents. How are you supposed to combat feelings of cynicism over America’s epidemic of gun deaths? If Newtown wasn’t a turning point, will there ever be one?

“I contest the narrative that the only sentiment you can have is despair, because a lot of progress has been made,” he said. “I understand the focus is rightly on the lack of action federally. But, from Washington State to Florida to Connecticut to California to Nevada, in purple states and blue states, we’ve passed laws that are tightening up the nation’s gun laws. We’ve seen more anti-gun-violence laws passed in the last 10 years than in any 10-year period in my lifetime. That’s good news, but it’s not enough.”

Last month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that could radically reshape nationwide gun policy, loosening state-level restrictions against concealed-carry permits. Many mass shooters opt for an AR-15 or a similar semiautomatic weapon in order to slaughter the largest number of people in the shortest possible time, but this week’s suspect in Michigan allegedly used a 9-mm Sig Sauer that his father had purchased on Black Friday—the kind of gun that fits inside a backpack or jacket pocket.

I thought back to something Murphy had said earlier in our conversation, when he told me that he viewed the Connecticut families who have lost children to gun violence as a distinct constituency within his state. “I care very deeply about whether they think that I’ve measured up to this mission or not,” he said. “If I end my public-service career and haven’t passed a significant federal firearms-reform bill, I’ll consider my time in public service a failure.”

Alec Baldwin deletes Twitter account following tell-all interview about fatal 'Rust' shooting .
Alec Baldwin has deleted one of his two Twitter accounts following his tell-all interview with George Stephanopoulos about the accidental shooting incident that took place on the set of the movie “Rust.”The actor had two verified Twitter accounts, one of which he was much more active on and was the one he used to previously issue statements about the fatal shooting incident that took place on the set of the indie-western movie in October. However, following his interview last week, it seems the star has completely deleted the account labeled @AlecBaldwin. However, his account @AlecBaldwln____ remains live with the latest tweet being from October 19.

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