In a lecture on Friday, Evelyn Diaz, president of the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Right, and University of Chicago Prof. Jens Ludwig discussed how behavioral science interventions could be used to reduce gun violence in the United States.
Prominent cardiologist Dr. Mark J. Hausknecht, who graduated Cornell in 1975, treated President George H.W. Bush and was a member of the Sigma Pi fraternity, was fatally shot while biking to work in Houston last month.
During an open forum at the Employee Assembly Pollack and Opperman discussed sexual assault, responses to gun violence and employee concerns and how recent government policy will impact the University.
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.
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.
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.