Republicans refuse to act on school shootings. Here’s what is changing right now


As the nation watched in horror as yet another mass school shooting unfolded before our eyes, we experienced the typical range of emotions. Shock. Sadness. Anger. Helplessness.

Republicans in Congress won’t act. We’ve begged and pleaded and tweeted and sat in and spoke out. There are literal children in pools of their own blood in schools, movie theaters, concerts and nightclubs. But the GOP doesn’t work for us. That party – the “family values” party – is owned by the NRA. Richard Burr (R-NC) took $6,986,620 from the NRA. Thom Tillis (R-NC) took $4,418,012. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Rob Portman (R-OH) all took over $3 million. Todd Young (R-IN) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) both took above $2.8 million. John McCain (R-AZ) might be on his deathbed, but his shameless acceptance of $7,740,521 from the NRA has stripped him of any entitlement to sympathy, especially considering someone so close to the end still can’t appreciate the plights of these victims. The House is no different. All Republicans. All fully funded by what is effectively a terrorist organization that prioritizes military-grade weapons and stock prices over American lives. Your lives. And what’s left for Americans? Thoughts and prayers.

If Republicans won’t act, at least we in the media can do our part. We won’t release the names of any more deranged gunmen who commit mass shootings. We won’t martyrize them. We won’t give them the satisfaction of having their faces broadcast to millions of people. We won’t give them their 15 minutes of fame. If they want to commit a mass shooting, they’ll do so in darkness, in isolation, and without fanfare. Worse than forgotten, they won’t ever be known.

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We glorify mass shooters in this country. We know their names. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was on the cover of the July 2013 issue of Rolling Stones. The editors have since assured their readers that this was not meant to glamorize Tsarnaev; not like the A-list actor that preceded him, Johnny Depp, on the June cover, or rockstar Bruce Springsteen on August’s cover. This nation knows who Adam Lanza is. James Holmes. Dylann Roof. And now Nikolas Cruz.

Only one day after the Parkland High School tragedy, another mass shooting was just narrowly avoided in Washington State. An 18-year-old whose own grandmother thwarted his attack wrote in his journal about wanting to make his impending plan “infamous” by causing the “biggest fatality number I possibly can.” This is about attention and notoriety. And the media is giving it to them.


We’ve investigated these criminals ad nauseam. Some have mental health issues. Some are white nationalists. Some are domestic abusers. Many were expected to commit these crimes. Most were obsessed with guns. There’s nothing more to be gained from putting them under society’s microscope. Yes, we need to prioritize mental healthcare in this country. Yes, we need common sense gun reform in this country. And yes, we will show up to the polls en masse, livid, exasperated, and utterly disgusted with disingenuous deflections, Bible quotes, and condolence tweets from the same men and women whose re-elections are funded by the companies who manufacture and sell the weapons that make these shootings so easy.

Enough is enough. We demand action. Let’s start here, today, now.

#DontReleaseTheName #NoNotoriety

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Brian Tyler Cohen

Managing editor

Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.