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Opinion | How to survive a mass-shooting society

Opinion | How to survive a mass-shooting society

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‘Netflix and survive’ sounds pretty good these days

There’s a video making the rounds on social media that depicts a mass shooting at a bar, with the victims pausing from their panic to explain direct-to-camera what to do in the situation. Turns out, it’s a PSA the FBI put out two years ago on how to survive a shooting.

Someone replied to one of the tweets sharing the video: “I am from Australia — can someone please explain if this is parody or not?”

Unfortunately, it’s not; this is just America.

It is no wonder contributing columnist Brian Broome doesn’t much feel up for crowded venues these days. The 200 or so mass shootings in this country so far this year leave him “feeling as though we’re all surrounded by ubiquitous and invisible violence.” Why go to a theater, for instance, when the movie will be streaming within a few weeks anyway?

Is this healthy? Well, it’s healthier than dying. Brian recognizes the necessity of community — and he wants it. The downside is just too great right now.

What can change that then? Republicans say more guns; columnist Paul Waldman asks, “How many?”

The best estimates already say guns outnumber people in this country, so “will 500 million guns do it? Six hundred million? Will a billion guns be enough?”

Obviously skeptical, Paul observes that, as gun sales have steadily increased, homicides and suicides have been right there with them. We’re also seeing new sources of violence, he writes, such as gun owners who are “so frightened by strangers knocking on their doors or turning around in their driveways that they open fire.”

That spreading terror is what happens in a world full of guns. The FBI better get a few more PSAs ready.

Chaser: In the days after the mass shooting in Allen, Tex., columnist Karen Attiah tallied all the social deaths that follow physical fatalities.

A ‘Ukraine fatigue’ wake-up

Ukraine’s spring counteroffensive is coming. Of course there will be the scramble against Russia to regain territory, but I’m talking about the push to persuade the rest of the world to keep supporting Ukraine’s fight.

The Editorial Board writes that, according to most analysts, the odds Ukraine’s counteroffensive ends in a decisive victory are very slim. More likely is a long slog — so “the West should prepare to continue supporting Ukraine even if the counteroffensive’s results are meager.”

In fact, Russia is counting on “Ukraine fatigue,” the Board writes.

Columnist Josh Rogin reports that some Republicans are ready to give in on Ukraine, citing as an excuse the need to redirect aid to Taiwan. The Taiwanese, meanwhile, are having none of it.

Leaders there (and Josh) argue that pulling the plug on Ukraine would hurt efforts to deter Chinese aggression because the United States would come off as an unreliable partner.

“Do these Republicans really think they understand Taiwan’s interests better than the Taiwanese?” Josh asks. “That is arrogance, not prudence.”

From Kinsey Executive Director Justin R. Garcia’s op-ed warning about the consequences of the decision by Indiana lawmakers to block the university from using state funding to support the institute.

For decades, the Kinsey Institute has been the world’s leading conductor of sex research, and its findings have helped people to better understand themselves and one another, Garcia writes. This doesn’t just apply to queer people, either; the institute first courted controversy in the early 1950s when it published the groundbreaking fact that American women indeed have sex lives of their own.

There’s always been controversy because people have always been uncomfortable with sex — and especially engaging with it in an open, “unbiased, apolitical, scientific” way, Garcia writes.

But his op-ed explains why that’s so important to support, when sex is so central to our lives and so many questions still swirl.

Chaser: Journalist Josie Cox writes that research in another area reveals a big way the United States lags behind its peers on gender equality.

For a long time, there has been a tension between what, legally, you could say about former president Donald Trump, and what deep down you knew to be true. “Anyone paying attention knew who this man was and what he had done,” columnist Ruth Marcus writes.

Now, finally, a civil jurythat found Trump liable for sexually abusing E. Jean Carroll has dispensed some consequences to the man Ruth describes as a “Houdini of accountability.”

Ruth writes that the jury had to find “clear and convincing” evidence of Trump’s liability — higher than usual for a civil trial. That should count for something in the public’s eyes.

The Editorial Board, reminding us that Trump remains the front-runner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, writes that “the standard in an election is altogether different.” But it hopes the national jury of about 330 million will look at this new evidence and be convinced.

  • Columnist Perry Bacon has a three-point plan for smarter media coverage of Trump this time around.
  • Science journalist Amy Maxmen has a seven-point plan for stronger pandemic fortification strategies to prevent a next time around.
  • Columnist George Will has a two-pleat plan for snappier dressing in a country that has given itself up to “egalitarian shabbiness.”

It’s a goodbye. It’s a haiku. It’s … The Bye-Ku.

While 5 million bucks go poof —

Have your own newsy haiku? Email it to me, along with any questions/comments/ambiguities. See you tomorrow!

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