Covid-19 is not gone, of course (and neither, technically, is Trump), but both are no longer the only storylines Americans care about. And with the return of mass shootings returns the question that plagued America before the pandemic. How do we prevent these utterly horrific scenes from repeating?
On the policy front, we must once again take up the most promising gun reform initiatives, such as universal background checks, red flag orders and the prohibition of assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
But on the societal and cultural front, we need to re-evaluate — perhaps permanently — how we talk about sensational violence. This must start with journalists, who need to stick to the facts and not glorify or sensationalize. Agreeing on editorial standards, like refraining from using the perpetrator’s name and not speculating about how events in the shooter’s life may have contributed to the event, will help as well. Humanize the victims, not the perpetrator. Let’s not give these murderers the one thing so many of them want — to be famous.