Unfortunately, in the wake of school shootings, very little change has been made in nearly the last decade, with a rather vicious cycle happening afterwards in which Republicans offer empty “thoughts and prayers,” cry about deaths being politicized, and then pivot to blaming it on mental illness and/or a bunch of right-wing causes with no irony at all. I say Republicans because they’re the only ones unwilling to give any ground on the issue and they’ve been fairly consistent on this for nearly two decades now and we need to be careful to assign the blame where it belongs.
All too often, news media is passively complicit in this process by largely letting the Republicans push these talking points and lamenting it as a “both sides” problem. On Thursday, we finally saw some pushback as Ted Cruz tried these same old lines on a reporter from Sky News, saying he didn’t want to get into politics and it wasn’t where the people wanted to go. The reporter, Mark Stone, immediately reminded him that it was where people who suffered a tragedy like this would want to go: finding some reassurance that it won’t happen again.
Cruz instead decided to keep making an ass of himself with NRA talking points saying that the proposed solution by Democrats won’t prevent another shooting and tried to pass off the shooting as a “lone wolf” incident rather than addressing why this shooter was able to acquire guns so easily, as Stone pointed out. Cruz then stormed away from the interview, which left a clear blueprint to how the media should be treating this issue if it’s to keep doing its job competently. What happened to Cruz in his home state should be the same treatment given to every senator who plans to appear on this week’s Sunday political talk shows if we’re to see any change at all.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making