Politicizing tRagedy

      66 Comments on Politicizing tRagedy

Since I blogged in December 2012 about the horrific shootings of 20 young children and six women in Newtown, Connecticut, there have been many more mass shootings in the U.S., the latest last week at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, where nine people were cut down by a gunman. As a PR guy, I wondered back then how the National Rifle Association (NRA) would react to the horrific shootings. The NRA, which has successfully beaten down efforts to regulate the sale of guns by supporting pro-gun rights candidates, remained silent for a couple of days after Newtown and later accused politicians and others of “politicizing” the tragedy.

NRA's Jack Levy

NRA’s Jack Levi

Sadly, history has repeated itself. Search “Umpqua” on the NRA web site today and there’s not a single mention of the shootings. However, Jack Levi, the NRA’s assistant deputy press relations chief, spoke out on Friday. “The NRA strongly advises against Americans discussing gun control at this time,” said Levi, suggesting that “letting emotions take over a highly emotional event” will only lead to “the further eroding of our Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms.” He accused the Obama administration and the “liberal media” of having “created a sense of urgency” when it’s “not necessary.”

But what Levi said next was truly alarming. “It’s just too premature to look at 45 separate school shootings as an indication of a problem that needs solving.” And he added in his estimation, “a minimum of 30 or 40 more” school shootings would be where he’d set the threshold and even then, “you really might be overreacting.”

Thirty or 40 more, Mr. Levi? Are we and the media ever “overreacting” to these heinous mass murders?

Yet again, the gun control battle lines are drawn and, I suspect, with little end result. On the day of the Umpqua shootings, President Obama sadly stated that such events and the subsequent reaction “have become routine,” adding, “This is something we should politicize. It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic.” True to form, several GOP presidential candidates and pro-gun groups have rejected the president’s “politicization” of the issue.

Your thoughts?

66 thoughts on “Politicizing tRagedy

  1. premierorion

    It is ridiculous for him to suggest that we should allow for 30 to 40 more shootings to occur before we discuss the regulations of guns. It seems as if he is an advocate of mass shootings and is willing to let them continue in order to maintain and uphold the second amendment.

  2. Awoolman13

    Obviously, this is an absurd comment. At a quick glance it sounds as if he is waiting for there to be more mass shootings before we can consider this a problem. It’s like he’s treating school shootings as some sort of lab experiment or a number crunching exercise.

  3. Bianca Kroening

    It is outrageous for anyone to think that there shouldn’t be an increase in gun control at this point. I really thought 2012 was going to be our turning point, but apparently not even the deaths of innocent children can sway people anymore. How many more people have to die before we make a change?

  4. Nicole Garcia

    Though I believe all private gun sales should be outlawed, this would not work well in our highly partisan country. In my opinion, legislative officials should at least come to an agreement to regulate gun sales. Because if something isn’t accomplished, regardless of the magnitude, our “thoughts and prayers are not enough.”
    As a result, legislative officials should provide laws to close the gun show loop hole, which allows individuals to easily purchase guns, but also, require all private gun sales to be conducted through an intermediary that conducts background checks. Though this wouldn’t eliminate gun-violence, it could be an appropriate first step.

  5. Jenna Morace

    i personally feel that the fact that the NRA refused to comment on the issue speaks volumes in itself. Those shootings happened due to guns and due to people who should not have the ability to have them. Guns are so easy to obtain now it gives the public no protection from unstable people who won’t even think twice before pulling the trigger.

  6. Chelsey Fuller

    It is unnerving to hear Mr. Levi say that these shootings are making people overreact. Just this morning another shooting at Northern Arizona University has left one person dead and three injured. This man definitely should not be the PR chief, because he lets his personal opinions get in the way. He just basically did everything a PR person shouldn’t do. He insulted people, remained unsympathetic, and deflected problems onto other people. While I understand the importance of the Second Amendment, there is no right for this man to downplay mass murders. These are serious issues that effect a lot of people and there is a need to talk about them. Just because 40 school shootings haven’t happened, doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem in our country. This is about human life and helping protect people, and Mr. Levi is making the NRA look like they could care less.

  7. Mallory Marin (PR 100)

    What Levi said was absolutely appalling. He wants to wait for a minimum of 30-40 lives to be taken in order to make it a “big deal”? In my opinion, this is not a very sensitive way to cover up the evident facts. From a PR perspective, Levi looks like a complete *insert crude word for ‘gluteus maximus’,” which doesn’t say much for the reputation of the NRA. There is no way that this man morally believes that more innocent young lives need to be taken before it becomes a pressing issue. Gun violence in school has increased significantly in the past year because of a document that was written hundreds of years ago. I bet back when they wrote the Amendments, they were only using guns for protection and war. Not for assault. Morals have changed since then, so why not take that into consideration when trying to regulate gun laws today? I mean, the bible says that gay people are going to hell for eternity, yet thousands of years later same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. I am from Connecticut. I lived through that Sandy Hook attack and would not wish that upon anyone, anywhere. The whole state was shaken. Just ONE school shooting is traumatic enough, and now we’re supposed to wait in fear for the other 30-40 in order to make a difference in gun laws? It is time to “politicize” gun laws.

  8. Martin Bradshaw

    I definitely feel the statements that were given by Mr. Levi in reaction to these events were sub par from a PR stand point. The response is not very empathetic to anyone affected by gun violence. It seems almost inhumane (in my personal opinion) to say that there should be a certain number, let alone a number as high as 30-40, of shootings before anything is done. It would be much more effective to put out statements that are more empathetic to those affected. What he said probably won’t bother EVERYONE because many people feel very strongly about protecting their second amendment rights. However, both those who take the opposing stance as well as the victims were probably displeased (to say the least) with his words. He’s giving himself and his organization unnecessary bad publicity which is definitely not going to help their case in this predicament.

  9. audrathorsen

    I think it’s sad and absurd that Mr Levi takes these school shootings so lightly. One mass murder at one school is a tragedy, but to treat the amount of school shootings this country has had as a minor problem is just flat out disappointing. The night president Obama made his speech on the shooting from Oregon, I couldn’t agree more. It has become routine and it is a problem that needs to be solved. I don’t understand how many shootings it has to take for American to realize there is a problem.

  10. Jillian Zagorski

    Opinions and arguments on gun control are one of the many problems that have divided this country. As terrible as it may sound, I strongly believe in the right to bare arms. It is not the gun that does the shooting, it is the demented human, and unfortunately we live in a world with a lot of that kind. There is not much you can say as an organization who distributes and sells rifles, and an apology or condolence would never be able to mend any pain. What the organization NEEDS to do is watch who these guns are being sold to and used by. It seems as if it is as easy to get a driver’s license as it is to have a gun license. Rules need to be stricter and a lot more enforced. But then again, there are rule breakers to every rule. Although the words are hard to hear, Obama is correct. It has become almost “the norm.” It is a horrible, horrible thing to comprehend. But this is life, and it must go on amongst the good and despite the bad.

  11. boxofficesam

    Should the NRA be blamed for any tragedies that have occurred in our nation involving gun violence? No. Was it this man’s place to say the things he did? No. Was he wrong? Yes. But what people fail to see is that a lot of the time the people who have committed crimes and criminals who are responsible for shooting other individuals don’t get their guns legally. Gun restrictions only make the process of obtaining firearms harder for law abiding citizens. The real issue that needs to be fix is cracking down on the different ways that people obtain guns illegally.

  12. kgorsky1

    It is rather alarming to hear that the people who are supposed to be in control of rifles and guns are ignoring the huge issues that our country has with these weapons. It is completely insensitive to not recognize all the lives that have been lost in shootings and to ignore the largest issue at hand. If anything is to be done,they must first recognize that there is a large issue and create plans to fix them. Sitting around and waiting has clearly not done our country any good.

  13. Erin Schmitt

    I find Jack Levi’s statements to be completely insensitive, and it is alarming to think that he still holds these views in spite of the countless atrocities seen in recent years. Levi does not seem to be taking the matter with the seriousness that it deserves. If now is not the time to instill corrective change, when is? The topic of gun control is something that needs to be addressed and explored in further detail. I think background checks and mental health assessments at the least should be required in order to legally own a gun. Investigations and regulations need to go further in making sure guns do not fall into the wrong hands, and Levi is definitely not realizing the magnitude of this issue with his casual stance.

    After the horrific events at Umpqua Community College, the FBI stated that they were aware of a posting on the 4chan website that said there would be a similar attack carried out at a university in/near Philadelphia on Monday, 10/5. A good friend of mine goes to school in Philadelphia, so I warned her to stay safe and worried all day that I would hear breaking news. Fortunately nothing of this nature happened, but this type of fear mongering should not be a daily part of our lives. We should be able to attend school or go out in public without having dread hang over our shoulders about what could happen. It is frightening to think that this has become such a familiar part of our lives.

  14. lourdesjc

    It’s insane there hasn’t been any regulations in correspondence to these incidents already. Of course the second amendment should be respected. However, I think there should be new policies on how a person may obtain a gun. I think the mental state of potential gun owners should be evaluated to determine whether they represent a threat as a gun owner. Perhaps it’s not gun regulations that need to be amended, but society which has failed to keep physical interaction with one another as everyone is hooked on electronic devices and it’s the main means of communication. We lose intuition on how to read body language and fail to help someone who is in need of help. Yet, I know this evaluation would be better suited for a third party to deal with since, those selling the guns are only seeking profit. It needs collaboration at all levels, political, medical, and social.

  15. Liz Steinberg

    I find it alarming how little people like Jack Levi care for the well-being of others. How can a decent human being say that there needs to be at least 30-40 more school shootings in order for them to consider it an actually problem? That’s disgusting. That’s insane. I bet if something like this impacted him directly, he would be singing a different song. There needs to be stricter gun control laws in place. We need to do something about this NOW, not 30-40 school shootings later. Students, of any age, should not fear going to school. They should love it and feel like it’s a second home. Let’s stop letting the NRA influence legislation because of their deep pockets. The lives of these people matter more than the money the NRA shoves down the throats of politicians to keep their mouths shut and votes in their favor.

  16. Sabrina O'Neil

    I am disgusted at the insensitivity and lack of compassion in Jack Levi’s statement. He is neglecting to realize that these are real human beings with family and friends that have been killed in these tragic shootings. He claims that now is a bad time to discuss gun control laws but when will the right time be? Gun control laws should have been seriously reconsidered many tragedies ago. These are occurring so often that the country is being highly desensitized to the whole concept of mass shootings. Obama has the right idea on addressing this issue. If more steps aren’t made in this direction, the country will continue to be plagued by these awful shootings.

  17. Emily Green

    I really think it is disturbing that Levi made those remarks. It’s almost as if he was joking. Whether or not you support gun control, how can you publically say that these shootings should not be taken seriously in regards to guns and that he would expect many more before doing anything about it. From a PR standpoint, this is a nightmare. Where is the compassion? He is being insensitive to the situation and acting as if he could care less about the innocent lives that were taken at these shootings. It is unbelievable.

  18. R.J. Cherpak

    The comments from Jack Levi are very insensitive and inconsiderate to the many who have been effected by school shootings. Due to the fact that history repeats itself and there have been over 30 different incidents, It is clear that their should be stricter regulations placed on the process of obtaining a gun.

  19. Abby Drapeau

    I think it’s clear that Jack Levi very strongly believes in the second amendment, however, when there are deaths involved, he should have been more sensitive. However, I do believe that politicians use these tragedy’s to benefit their careers. Because gun control is so highly debated, I don’t think that it will be solved any time soon.

  20. Rachel Tyler

    America has become to used to school shootings. There needs to be laws and regulations on gun control. No one should have to go to class worried one of their classmates might snap and unfortunately this is a thought I know many people have. Mr. Levi was wrong. We don’t need to wait for another 30 shootings before making laws. Something needs to be done because to many innocent people are losing their lives over this issue.

  21. Lysa Carre

    I think the comments that have been made on this matter by Mr. Levi are highly disturbing, and make me very concerned about the society we live in today. It should not take 30-40 more shootings to put an end to this horrific issue that continues to occur throughout the years within schools repeatedly. It is severely necessary for gun control laws to be enforced significantly through congress so we can start to prevent such trajedies from occuring in the future. Schools should be a safe environment for our youth where students go to learn and get the best possible experiences to obtain for a lifetime. It is devastating that students, teachers, families, & those within these communities are impacted by such terrible crimes resulting in them living in fear. Now their lives have changed in such negative ways which could’ve potentionally been avoided. Moving forward, it is crucial to enforce gun controls in ways acted upon like never before.

  22. Victor Alicea

    I think that one incident is more than enough for one to be upset opposed to just brushing off the tragedy and being more upset that people will try to change the laws that affects how one would buy a gun. All that needed to be said that they are truly sorry an unfortunate event as such would happen. It is problematic that there is no middle ground between being empathetic and keeping NRA’s strong position against gun control. There is too much of a personal bias to come from a public relation’s person attempting to maintain a positive image.

  23. Judea Hartley

    I think that gun control needs to be put into action forcibly. A devastation as this one, can no longer be blamed on the mental challenge of the shooter. Despite his possible mental challenge, more than nine people were killed and now their family has to deal with this devastation. I also think that Jack Levi was completely insensitive to the incident. In PR, it is important to be sensitive to the issue, and address it immediately in a way to ensure that some sort of action will applied.

  24. Forrest Gitlin

    It is ridiculous to think that the head of the National Rifle Association (NRA) sees 45 separate school shootings as anything but the indication of a problem. From a public relations point of view, his remarks send the message that he does not care about the tragedy that has just occurred or those that have occurred over the past few years. Levi knows he and his organization will be placed under the microscope after events like this and his comments will only hurt his and the NRA’s image in the coming weeks.

  25. Rebecca Haines

    What amazes me is the fact that Jack Levi can be so relaxed about this issue. Guns are clearly the problem with the school shootings and there has been multiple mass murders in the past 15 to 20 years. There should be some serious background searches done on people who are sold guns. I am not saying that people should not be allowed to own guns. I just think that before someone is sold a gun, they should be proved fit and stable to own one. As for Jack Levi, he might have a different view on this “overreacting” if he was affected personally by this violence, like many people are.

  26. Kassara McElroy

    One shooting should have been enough for laws and regulations regarding gun control to become much stricter. Levi’s remarks are appalling and show no remorse for the tragic events that could have been prevented if gun control was taken more seriously by his organization.

  27. jennsmulo

    It’s disheartening that people still believe that guns aren’t the problem. After so many mass shootings, it’s become obvious to almost everyone that guns need more laws around them. But what is worse is that the NRA genuinely doesn’t see the problem here. If they actually thought that their comments would make things better, then they’re sorely mistaken. It’ll be interesting to see what happens concerning gun control in the future.

  28. Allie Giordano

    It’s tragic to see yet another school shooting has occurred in the United States. It’s even more disturbing that the NRA and Jack Levi have nothing to say about this situation. I don’t understand how we were “overreacting” when lives were taken from this tragic event. It’s time to learn from the past and make stricter gun control laws so tragic events like this don’t happen anymore.

  29. ajoyhofstra

    I am beyond appalled that Levi would say such a thing. Whether one shooting or multiple shootings, family members, friends and co-workers are being lost. I think with the very first shooting, that should have been an alarming situation that NEEDS to be recognized and something must be done in order to prevent further horrifying events like what had just recently happened in Oregon. To say “it’s too premature” and we should wait for about “30 or 40” more shootings is absolutely absurd. Someone’s life is not something to take for granted and I think Levi should apologize for his heartless statement at the very minimum.

  30. Lindsey

    In my opinion, even one mass shooting should be enough to start a conversation and affect change regarding gun legislation. The gun laws that stand today were written hundreds of years ago. The second amendment was written when it took several minutes to load a gun. There needs to be new laws that are appropriate for the current gun market in this country. If we are not responsible enough to police ourselves, there need to be laws that protect innocent people. From a PR perspective, it is a good effort by the NRA to avoid a conversation under the guise of being respectful in the wake of a tragedy, but they will not be able to evade responsibility forever.

  31. Elaine

    I can’t imagine Jack Levi can say this. These words seems like a negative influence on NPR. He accused politicians and citizens, it will let him in the trouble. Citizens will lose confidence in NPR and think NPR is trying to escape responsibility. Although Jack Levi should respond to this accident, he should blame him and promise NPR will take measures to solve the problem rather than blame politicians and citizens. However, in my opinion, sometimes he can keep silent if he don’t have method to respond to citizens. And another question is that he blame media do overreacting reaction. It will lead to a bad relationship between NPR and media. It will also put NPR in a dangerous situation, I think.

  32. Pakelody Cheam

    It’s terrible that these tragic shootings keep occurring in the United States. Growing up in Indiana where many people love their guns, Jack Levi’s statement doesn’t come as a shock to me. Having said that, Levi’s words don’t make sense to me. Keeping an emotionless approach to such a highly charged issue and tragedy doesn’t make sense.
    The idea that guns don’t kill people needs to end. There is a correlation between our loose gun laws and these shootings, typically committed by people unfit to own a gun. The time for stricter gun control was 3 years ago, so fact that gun control is such a huge controversy is alarming.

  33. Hailey Oliveri

    As someone who lives in CT and frequently drives through the town of Newtown, CT, just being in the town makes you feel eery and depressed and I don’t think theres anyone who visits that town who isn’t saddened by what happened even years later. The laws we have in place now are clearly not enough, but who knows if any law will be enough. Laws and the NRA aside, there’s still the black market. People can still obtain guns illegally. Politicians focus on those who get their weapons legally, but what about those who get their weapons illegally? How do you stop that? Someone could purchase a gun for recreational purposes such as hunting, and sell it to someone illegally who has other ideas for use of that gun. I am not against guns, but I do think the government needs to think of a more solid plan to make our country a bit safer.

  34. Sara Fox

    Jack Levi’s comment made him and NRA look very ignorant. While it is not surprising that they are trying to take a vow of silence during this time and also that they would bring up our right to bear arms in the 1st Amendment, to say that 45 school shootings are not enough to be considered a problem is ridiculous. This is definitely a problem and it needs solving but maybe we need to try something other than just enforcing stricter gun laws. The NRA should have brought up other possible solutions like making it easier and cheaper to have access to mental health facilities and more security and even metal detectors in public places, especially schools where these types of mass shootings have been known to happen in recent years.

  35. joebarone28

    I honestly can’t imagine, nor would I ever want to imagine what the schools and individuals who were touched by this event have gone through. It is a disaster. The issue of gun control is of high debate. Some want all guns off the streets. Some advocate for them. What Mr. Levi said was a response to those people who want all guns off the streets. While Mr. Levi may not have said the correct thing morally, those individuals who want to guns gone are not offering any logical alternatives. It is completely insane to think of a society where we can’t bear arms in necessary times. Any mass shooting is NOT an overreaction, however, those who are calling for guns off the streets from every single person who, by law, have earned the right to bear arms, is an overreaction as well.

    I do think there should be a tighter system to acquire a gun. Full mental checks and evaluations prior to the actual moment when the individual can aquire a gun is necessary. It is not a gun that kills innocent lives. It is a person who kills innocent lives. Its the crazed and mentally disturbed individuals who do the deed. Keep guns around, however, make it tougher to acquire.

    1. joebarone28

      correction: *those individuals who want guns gone are not…*
      correction: *by law, have earned the right to bear arms, is an overreaction.*

  36. Dan Hanson

    First off, I just want to say what a tragic and horrific scene it must have been in Oregon a few days ago. Too many lunatics are on the run and you hear more and more about incidents like these. On the other end, I don’t believe that guns are the problem. I think deranged maniacs are the problem, instead. I am a libertarian and I believe that as an American citizen I should have the right to bear arms. At the same time, I believe that it comes with a price. Any citizen that wants to own a firearm should be subject to background checks or something of that nature. While Levi’s comments were definitely disturbing (understatement), I don’t believe that guns are the problem. Guns getting into the wrong hands are the problem and that’s where the system is flawed. Personally, I like the idea that I, as a United States citizen can defend myself. It makes me feel safe. Is there a reason why Chicago (especially the south side) has one of the murder rates in the country? That’s because their gun laws are off the charts and guns get into the wrong hands. So again, what happened in Oregon was a tragedy, to say the least. But I believe that if the government strips people of their rights to own firearms, then NO law-abiding citizen will be able to defend themselves and the wrong people will get guns, illegally, only causing worse outcomes for Americans.

  37. azachar1

    Hi Professor Morosoff,

    This is such a heartbreaking issue. I cannot believe the NRA would make statements like the ones mentioned in your blog post. That is truly disgusting in my personal opinion. I think people at the NRA have become extremely desensitized to gun violence issues. They don’t see people as people, rather people as numbers which is upsetting. I wonder how these NRA officials would feel if they were the ones having to deal with the tragedy of loss. I think in life everything is always so much easier when you are not the only experiencing the challenges of life, particularly loss.

    How are we “overreacting?” I do not understand that notion. We are human beings with emotions, not heartless robots. And why should it take more people losing their lives for the NRA to wake up and realize the crisis this nation is facing with the large amount of gun violence? I am from CT and only live about an hour away from where the shooting in Newtown happened. I have driven by that exit (Exit 10) on many occasions and every time I pass by the exit I am still deeply sad for those who tragically lost their lives. Enough is enough and it’s time for the NRA to take a stand.

  38. Daphne Kotridis

    How anyone can say that guns are not the problem in these situations never ceases to amaze me; but as far as Jack Levi’s comment goes, I would suspect that both pro and anti gun citizens were outraged alike by his insensitive and downright stupid choice of words. For those who support the right to bear arms, Levi just significantly but a damper on your case. As for President Obama, I have a great deal of sympathy for him in these situations. Unlike 9/11, where there was no question of what was right and wrong, the polarization on the source of the problem in the mass shootings debate is heated and unclear.

  39. Melissa Cooke

    Aside from the politics and public relations aspect of the shooting at Umpqua Community College it is ultimately a deep tragedy in which lives we’re lost. That is the critical issue in which should be the focus for the PR and the politics related aspects of this horrific shooting.

    What Jack Levi stated on behalf of the NRA was insensitive and ignorant to the issue at hand. He completely fails to recognize the tragedy that has occurred, the lives that were lost and the roles guns played in the deaths of innocent people. For him to state that this isn’t the time to discuss gun regulation or politicizing it is incredibly inaccurate. Then for him to further state that more shootings are required to occur for this to become a valid topic for conversation and that people are “overreacting” is absolutely Ludicrous. He would of been better off not making a statement at all then making the statement he did which insults many people and fails to recognize the importance of the issue at hand. When dealing with PR you need to know you’re audience and Jack Levi failed to recognize his audience as the American people who have witnessed many tragedies with guns to which innocent lives were lost, he wasn’t speaking to just those who are in favor of guns. If you aren’t in Politics stay out of Politics and let the politicians handle that. I believe a statement addressing the NRA’s beliefs about guns and how guns we’re improperly used in this tragedy and sympathy for the victims would have been a much better way to have people view and understand the NRA’s beliefs.

    I agree with President Obama in that this is the time where we need to more closely examine our Laws regarding gun control since these tragedies have occurred multiple times our nation is beginning to be desensitized to a huge problem and we need to take action one way or another. Other politicians not taking a stand is probably a strategic move in their campaign to do better in the polls. It’s sad but true.

    I’d personally like to say my thoughts and prayers are with the victims from the shooting at Umpqua Community College and all other victims from shootings.

  40. syanok

    My initial reaction to this is that Jack Levi seems to be delusional about 45 school shootings as just random incidents that should be treated casually. Although in public relations it is recommended that an organization release some type of empathetic statement in a time like this, it is sometimes better to remain silent if what you have to say will be harmful to the image of said organization. It is no secret that the NRA has been in hot water over the many other school shootings that have taken place over the years. Coming from a neutral point of view on gun control policy and laws, I believe reoccurring incidents such as these make it very evident that stricter gun laws and gun license processes are needed in the United States for the greater good. It is our right as citizens to “bear arms” but it seems that just about anyone, regardless of mental illness may posses one, and that should not be alright.

  41. Jessica Granger

    Gun control is one of the most talked about indifferences in America today. Doing my first two years of University in the south really put a strain on my views of gun laws. One of my closest friends grew up in Virginia on a farm. Her father owned over 200 acres of land. Every weekend they had families stay in their guest house and would take them hunting in the early hours of the morning. This is how they would make a living. This is how many of my friends would eat dinner. This was how the South lived. Growing up in New York, specifically Long Island, I was not used to this (part of the reason why I came home). I believed everybody who looked, liked, or owned a gun was someone I would not want to associate myself with. But with everything going on, I can’t help but look at it from another persons perspective. Sadly, I can’t help but try and see gun laws from Jake Levi’s perspective. He is a man that, most likely, grew up hunting or bonding over guns with his family. I believe he is blinded from all of the tragedies because to him, 45 is only a small amount of disasters in a country so large.

  42. laurabellini

    To see Jack Levi make these comments so soon after the shooting at Umpqua is distasteful and disappointing. As someone who believes that the gun control laws in this country need some serious reconsideration, this just enforced my view more. I recently saw someone post on social media “If you hear about a shooting and your first thought is, ‘they’re going to try and take our guns away’, you need to reevaluate your priorities as a human.” I could not agree more and to see the comments that Levi made reaffirmed my beliefs. To try to separate emotion from a tragedy such as this for personal interest is appalling, and from a PR point of view, this wasn’t a smart move either. Those who advocate for gun control laws will continue to fight even harder and use his words against him in the end.

  43. lpardee1

    Concerning the tragic school shootings that keep occurring in our nation and the NRA’s reaction to the most recent situation is disgusting and extremely disappointing. Morally I think that Jack Levi’s comments showed disrespect. No one should be dismissing or putting off any issues about gun control due to emotions, this is a subject that needs to be addressed promptly. The fact that he didn’t show any empathy for the situation at hand only makes him look bad and guilty for supporting something that in this day in age must be adjusted for the safety of our nations innocent people.

  44. Jack De Gilio

    The fact that Jack Levi thinks that the nation is overreacting to these mass shootings is extremely alarming. We should not be brushing off mass shootings as something that just happens. Nobody should have to leave their house and worry that somebody may just attack or even murder us at any moment. We keep hearing these horror stories of school shootings but we don’t really do anything about it. It may be hard to figure out the solution of gun control, because everyone has a different opinion, but this is an issue that needs to be further discussed in order to prevent events such as this to keep happening.

  45. Cass Lang

    When I first read this blog post I honestly thought the quotes said by Jack Levi were fake. After clicking through the link, just to make sure, I was still floored. I can’t believe we live in a world where a communications professional would publicly say something like that. Maybe my political views are leaning further left on this matter, compared to those of Levi but as a human being living in a country with more mass shootings on record than ANY other, I think it’s more than PAST time for something major to be done about this and for our conversation to shift to finding a solution, rather than waiting for more devastation to accumulate.

  46. S. Shakola

    I believe that what happened in Oregon was a tragic event and the way that Mr. Levi responded, days later, was very inconsiderate to those whose lives were lost. To say that a tragic incident like this must happen at least another 30-40 times before we can truly discuss the matter is appalling. Now is as good of time as any to make sure it does not happen.
    As mentioned by some of my other peers, no matter how strict the gun laws are, typically these horrible acts are happening with illegally obtained weapons. It’s time we all come together and find a way to ensure that more lives are not taken by another tragic accident like this one.

  47. Kylie Todd

    I am in shock with Jack Levi’s statement. 45 separate school shootings is MORE than enough and should be politicized. Lives are at stake when they in no way should be. This is a more than serious issue and I’m sure Levi would agree if the next time it was his family member or friend whose life was taken away.

  48. Marc Roessle

    First off, Mr. Levi seems like an old-timer that has not caught up with he times. He has clearly not adjusted his attitude to be up with the times. I feel that guns do need to be more strictly regulated, but not completely cut off. I feel that there should be a more detailed process for when a person is buying a gun.

  49. ChloeLauraDale

    Unbelievable. His comments showed a huge disrespect to all those who are grieving after the Umpqua tragedy and previous gun-related crimes. Turning on the TV to hear about the latest massacre is becoming the norm. It’s both sad and scary to see so many innocent people die because there is zero urgency to make changes to the gun laws. The NRA would rather see more shootings than see their sales drop. Its devastating that guns are valued above the future of the average civilian. Protection and safety are both lame excuses to own a gun anyway. How do we provide more protection for school kids? Should teachers start carrying guns? It’s an awful mess.

  50. Sarah

    It is sad to hear President Obama say that these school and public shootings “have become routine”; but unfortunately, it has. I believe that there should be stricter laws on guns because there are hardly any requirements to purchase a gun. The reasoning and intention behind someone buying a gun is unclear and thus unsafe. But, I don’t think the government should take away the second amendment right to bare arms. I believe that Mr.Levi is wrong and heartless he should have expressed his condolences, and said we should look into this further. Any form of death, especially an unexpected one, is tragic.

  51. caprice o

    This was a horrific incident that has once again brought gun control to the discussion table. In response to Jack Levi’s statement, I would say that he should never speak so loosely on a tragedy like this one. Levi’s statement came off to be inconsiderate and thoughtless. In the subject of gun control I have a different opinion, I don’t feel like anyone’s constitutional rights should be changed because a couple of people’s ill actions. I believe that after the first school shooting certain securities should be put in placed, I am definitely for metal detectors on campuses and schools just like the airport. Gun control to me is a simple fix, because these shooting are not taking place with registered legal guns. Guns and drugs are two thing that have flooded the United States illegally, and people will have access to them whether its legal or not. This tragic situation could have been prevented and hopefully now schools are getting the wake up call for needed security in schools for students to be safe.

  52. dannynikander

    First off, waiting for people to stop being emotional about the issue is basically saying “wait until everybody forgets about it so we can continue looking for our guns.” The NRA has a social responsibility to say that this use of guns is not okay. Secondly, the second amendment was created during a time where the world did not have gun technology that could cause mass destruction. Third, we have hard factual evidence from many countries showing how gun restrictions are able to stop mass shootings. And lastly, people need to realize that nobody is looking to take your guns away. We just need to enact laws that regulate who is able to purchase guns (For example, mentally unstable people) and to keep tabs on where these guns are located in the world.

  53. Victoria Reid

    I’m honestly stunned that Jack Levi believes there needs to be “a minimum of 30 or 40 more” shootings just so to make it okay to call it an issue. So he thinks that more innocent people need to die? It’s even more appalling that he feels that even then, we would still be “overreacting.” Although it’s probably easier said then done, there needs to be a change regarding gun laws before another tragedy occurs. How the NRA and other gun supporters don’t see that this is a problem is mind boggling. What will it take for them to see what the rest of us see?

  54. Tara

    I am baffled that Jack Levi said people were overreacting to school shootings. Especially since there have been for than 40. It makes me wonder if he is only trying to protect a hobby. I feel like from what I’ve read, people against banning guns always try to shove the second amendment in the faces of those who disagree. However, I feel like the only reason they want guns is to go hunting. Is a hobby more important than people’s lives? And yes I get the whole right to protect yourself, but do you need to protect yourself if no one else has a gun? I understand that the right to bear arms is in the Constitution, but I think it is unconstitutional to not address gun control, when there are mass murders at least monthly in America usually involving students of various ages. Is the right to bear arms a right that is a necessity?

  55. Jeff Lansky

    Jack Levi’s response to he recent shooting in Oregon is disturbing to me. For Levi to say “It’s just too premature to look at 45 separate school shootings as an indication of a problem that needs solving,” is unacceptable. It seems like every few weeks or at least once a month there is some kind of mass shooting in the United States. President Obama is doing the right thing by approaching this situation with a sense of urgency. Since I have been back at Hofstra for this semester I have received news updates on my phone about a shooting in my hometown of Cleveland each week. There have even been multiple shootings in a week and most them have seen children die, including a 5 month old baby this week. It is very disheartening to see this news every week. It is time for change in the gun laws in our country. A change in gun laws would certainly be for the better and would not be a cause of “overreacting.”

  56. Casey Lamkin

    The fact that this issue isn’t being seriously taken into consideration as “an issue” is seriously alarming and sickening. We need to take action in some way or another so “politicizing” is at least moving closer to DOING something about the issue that clearly isn’t going away. How many people have to die before the NRA see that this is an issue, and one that could be fixed by their own doing. At least President Obama is talking about it; they won’t even do that much.

  57. A. Murphy

    I find it interesting what threshhold people set for when something becomes truly aweful and worth discussing and when these events are just the norm and not worth a conversation. While I concede that there are some situations that this may be the case, mass shootings, not matter how many, always deserve a conversation and the fact that they are happening more and more frequently on school campuses is a problem. As a student at a university and someone who has spent more of my life on a school campus than away from it I can say that there are days that I am scared to mingle in hiigly populated school facilities because of these events. I work late hours at a tutoring center and am scared of staying late because of various events that have happened on campuses around the country. Granted, I don’t let my fear stop me from going to work and engaging with fellow students but you can be sure that I have an escape route planned out and am thinking about these things.
    With all of these things being said, can anyone really say that the amount of mass shootings is not a problem? Students now decide on their prospecctive post-secondary schools with safety as a significant factor in their decision. Whether or not the schools have well thought out plans is not the question here; the question is why are these shootings happening in the first place and how do we as a society work to start conversation, maintain that conversation, and change the outcome to something involving less bullets?

  58. Katherine Hammer

    It is a complete tragedy that as a nation we react to school shootings and gun debates as routine. I believe there should be gun regulations and people should be educated on how they affect the nation. I am shocked at what Jack Levi stated, for it shows how much he doesn’t care about other people. To say it will become a problem after 30 or 40 more shootings? His statement is completely horrific. We need to politicize this issue so people become more and more aware of it so something can be done. Over the years, shootings have become more popular and nothing has been done to stop guns from being used. This needs to change, and it needs to happen quickly.

  59. Emily Walsh

    I want to start off by saying how sad it is that school or mass shootings like this have become so common and “routine” as our President stated. These are huge tragedies and the fact that it is happening more and more says in itself that something needs to change. Innocent lives are being cut short and it is both sad and unfair. In this case, I agree with President Obama that gun laws should be regulated. In order for change, which is key in a PR crisis, we need to politicize the issue and make the change that so many deserve.

    I am so disappointed in Jack Levi’s response to the shootings. It was heartless and ignorant. He needs to realize that we are dealing with human lives and therefore change for the better is needed. His first step would be to apologize, then implement change. However, I think that this is an issue that the government should deal with so people like Mr. Levi won’t have a say in issues as large as this. We need to fix this issue and not drag our feet on it. The more time it takes, the more tragedies will occur. We need to look forward to the future in a positive light and have gun violence decrease.

  60. jheiden1

    Jack Levi’s response regarding gun control is both insensitive and ignorant towards the entire situation. If the tables were turned and his daughter’s life was taken in the recent Umpqua shooting, I’m sure this response would be much different. To simply say there have not been “enough” shootings to support gun control is a horrible stance to take. Any number of lives taken in careless shooting is too many. It’s time for the NRA to understand the cause and effect of such a serious issue. Shooting rates are increasing as we sit here and let them continue to occur.

  61. jhlabella

    Let me start with I absolutely despise guns. I will never feel the same after watching live television from Connecticut the day those innocent children were murdered. After that incident I feel that the gun association should have acted quickly in changing the regulations on gun control. Now months later we are still leaving with the same issue and innocent people are still dying. I often think that if we have the technology to open a smart phone with our fingerprints then we most definitely can apply the same technology to guns. If this were applied then firearms would never end up in the wrong hands again.

  62. hallieabish

    I definitely agree with Obama in regards to the fact that talking about these mass shootings “has become routine”. I believe that it is disgusting how Levi thinks that there should be thirty or forty more mass shootings. Perhaps he should suffer tragedy to have his mind changed. No family member or friend should have to suffer from a loss due to the lack of gun regulation in this country. When I learned about this in high school we watched a documentary. It was clear that mass shootings like this one take place far more times in this country than any other country with similar economic standings. Events that continue to happen like this one makes me question how proud I really am to be an American.

  63. Emily DiLaura

    So what I am gathering from Levi is that as long as we don’t discuss guns when it is most important to discuss guns (i.e. after a mass school shooting), all will be right with the world? Great logic. If we wait around for another forty mass shootings, we are only further letting it show that we won’t put an end to the violence as a nation. I think something needs to be done about the gun laws because times have changed and not every amendment is always accurate to the time today. It’s horrifying that people can now see that a mass shooting has occurred and just be like “Wow, That sucks,” and move on with their day because they have become that common.
    Also, Jack Levi speaks not to the public in his address, but to a specific niche of those who agree with him. Caring about the deaths and mass shootings is not an overreaction, it’s being humane. Is anyone else scared that this guy is a PR guy?

  64. Ken Young

    I thought Sandy Hook would be the turning point but, sadly, I was wrong. Not sure what it will take at this point.

  65. zhenpanda

    I think there should definitely be laws and regulations regarding gun control because mentally unstable persons should not own guns to harm others or themselves. However, I also think people should have fair access to guns if for protection or hunting purposes. Jack Levi is an extremist that can’t see the other side of the coin. If only, he has a personal tragedy with gun violence, perhaps he’ll think differently about “overreacting.”


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