SANDY HOOK SHOOTING

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Can We Prevent School Shootings?

The December, 2012 shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the lives of twenty children and six adults shocked the world. The call for greater school safety following this tragedy led to virtually every state legislature in the United States introducing new laws to make schools safer.

Behind the Headlines: Can Good Come of Newtown's Grief?

What will come of the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the coming weeks and months remains to be seen. But in the wake of this and other tragedies, young people have proven that strength, resilience and compassion can prevail. We can bring meaning to these atrocities that seem to negate all that is right in the world.
Family handout / AP

A Special Sandy Hook News Bulletin for Children

It's one thing to be a parent talking to your kids about the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting -- it's quite another to be a journalist writing a news story about it for them. My audience is five- to 12-year-olds and somehow I had to write a story that wouldn't be too scary or grown-up. While I don't get to choose the news, I still get to choose how I report on it.
AP

Gun Control: Should Firearms Represent Freedom?

For all the talk of the effects of guns and the nature of gun crime, very little is said about the role that guns play as social symbols. The gun debate is still articulated by simplistic slogans such as: "guns don't kill people, people do." But in addition to their functional value -- as instruments of security and insecurity -- guns are also infused with a powerful symbolic value. A gun is more than an object. A gun is a means towards, and a symbol of, an ideal society. It serves as a functional and figurative instrument of who does, and who does not, have power and citizenship.
CP

Media Bites: The Missing Women Report Finds Canada's Dark Side

Monday morning marked the long-awaited release of Wally T. Oppal's Missing Women Commission of Inquiry report. To say commissioning this report was a bit controversial is like saying Pickton himself was a bit murdery. Oppal's investigation basically entailed a jaunty stroll across a packed minefield of modern Canada's touchiest subjects including racism, sexism, classism, aboriginal politics, the sex trade, mental illness, alcoholism, drug abuse, bureaucratic cruelty and police incompetence, all headed by a party hack from an embattled provincial government that might very well poll worse than all the others put together.
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There's No Murder Gene in Mental Illness

The term "mental illness" has been thrown around as a quick and easy solution for gun enthusiasts and media alike. Mental illness, in turn, is conflated with violence through a process of loaded renaming. Mentally ill people are "disturbed," "threatening," "bad people," and ultimately counter-cultural figments of fear induced imaginations. Essentially what this means is that there are those who need psychiatric treatment and then there is the rest of the world that needs to protect themselves from those people. The truth of mental illness is it is not a static concept, an ailment reducible to genetic rhetoric, there is no "murderer gene." Tragedies are not questions, hence there are never any answers.