May 21, 2018
In the aftermath of the latest (May 18) school shooting (the 22nd in 2018!) that saw a deranged teen (with legally-acquired assault weapons) slaughter 10 high school classmates, including a teacher, and wound 10 others in Santa Fe, Texas, our politically-divided country was again reduced to the repetitious cycle of “thoughts and prayers,” arguing on social media and paralyzed lawmakers (including President Trump) unwilling or unable to confront gun control, the NRA or the 2nd Amendment.
Only this time the vacuous grieving to the horror of Santa Fe High School was quickly overshadowed by The Royals, or obsession over the wedding of Prince Harry and his American “Princess,” actress Meghan Markle.
The reported $40 million ceremony May 19 in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom, drew 18 million television viewers in the United States. An impressive statistic in today’s fractured TV landscape.
So immune has the media become toward school shootings, that CNN’s Anderson Cooper, after interviewing the father of a slain student at the most-recent school shooting in Parkland, Fla., quietly pivoted to the network’s non-stop coverage of The Wedding.
In the midst of Saturday’s spectacle, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co., took to social media with a different mindset: “By not acting to stop gun violence, we are failing our children and failing our country,” he tweeted.
A strong statement coming from the boss of a media giant whose family values brand goes out of its way not to create controversy.
But Iger has long been less than shy about gun violence, telling Variety following the Las Vegas shooting that left 59 concertgoers dead, the country has a crisis and gun control shouldn’t be political.
“We have the worst record in the modern world when it comes to gun violence and gun deaths,” he said. “We should be demanding a dialogue about this from our politicians and demanding some productive action.”
Indeed, advocating — no, demanding — safety for our children at school shouldn’t be controversial. It should be common sense.