“The fear, chaos, and disbelief triggered by mass shootings have become an inescapable yet unbearable reality,” the caption under this YouTube video proclaims. “Speaking is Difficult represents five years of an American crisis.” The use of the word “inescapable” highlights the divide between gun rights and gun control advocates. One side sees the carnage and concludes that a legally carried firearm is the best chance of escape from deadly violence. The other side sees the “inescapable” need to disarm civilians. One thing both can agree on . . .
Violence can occur anywhere. Video journalist AJ Schnack’s film highlights the banality of evil in the sense that it shows bucolic scenes where mass shootings occurred. Again, how you interpret these images – and 911 calls – depends entirely on your perspective on Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.
At 12:46, Gabby Giffords weighs in with the only commentary provided. The former Congresswoman, shot during a rally in Tuscon in 2011, gives the film its title: Speaking is Difficult. “We must do something,” she asserts in Congressional testimony. Yes, but what?
The film closes with stats suggesting that mass shootings have become more prevalent since 2011. That conclusion depends entirely on who’s counting. Or, more specifically, how they’re counting. (Gun control advocates usually count three or more people shot as a “mass shooting”.) The more relevant statistic is this [via fivethirtyeight.com]:
Also of note: the majority of firearms-related homicides are gang-related, not “active shooter” events. Make of that what you will.