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GUEST ROOM | A Call To March

Gun violence is something that has never directly impacted me. It was only through the Virginia Tech shooting, in which a gunman killed over twenty people on a snowy morning in Blacksburg, that I have any concrete connection to gun violence at all; one of my best friends from kindergarten lost a cousin that day. The evening of that massacre, as I sat in my living room with CNN’s emotional coverage on in the background while I copied my spelling words, I remember thinking about how big a deal it was. It’s not like this anymore though. Nearly eleven years and thousands of deaths from gun violence later, even our overused tropes and platitudes, our vapid thoughts and prayers, feel overbearing, much less meaningless.

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GUEST ROOM | Guns and Poses

When Nikolas Cruz opened fire in Parkland on Valentine’s Day, the shooting left in its wake not only the usual and maligned ‘thoughts and prayers,’ but an avalanche of gun control advocacy. However, the response to the Parkland shooting could, ironically, end up being detrimental to meaningful solutions to gun violence. Many on the left correctly criticize the right for being sensationalist and for seeking overly simplistic solutions to deep and complex issues. Yet, many gun control advocates seem to fall into the same trap. The elevation of the Parkland students to the forefront of the national conversation on gun control is, quite frankly, manifestly inconsistent.

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KANKANHALLI | Who’s Behind the Trigger?

Voices flock to controversy like bees to honey. The case surrounding the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting is no outlier — without delay, a multitude of sentiments regarding the affair has peppered the national landscape. As in prior responses to tragedy, we have heard vehement accounts from survivors, onlookers, afflicted families, and of course, politicians. This is precisely what we would hope for in response to an unthinkable calamity, is it not? Hardly.

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 17, 2012:  Candles are lit among mementos at a memorial for victims of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, on December 17, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut.

Horror, Discourse and Art: Gun Violence in America

In turbulent times, art and its artists find themselves thrown into a space of ambiguity and with it comes a host of questions regarding their purpose. Artistic and political space inevitably intersect. Is this by accident or by unbending intent? More broadly, what is the role of the artist? For Kadie Salfi, a local Ithaca artist and an active member of the Alice Cook House community, these questions are addressed through an invitation for dialogue. Located in the Willard Straight Hall Art Gallery, Salfi’s exhibit Red Guns is part of a poignant and enduring conversation about gun violence in America.

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TEST SPIN: The Radio Dept. — Running Out of Love

Swedish, indie pop-rock group Radio Dept. walks the line between complacent and passionate. Their sound in Running Out of Love, released this October, mixes easy to listen to harmonies with fast paced, energetic beats and shocking lyrics. The three merge to unpack social frustrations. With an eerily calm tone, their lyrics call to mind serious issues and leave them unresolved.