Emblematic Narratives Are Hard to Find


Item 3 Marking the National Rifle Association’s 2015 Freedom Festival in Nashville

Yesterday, the U.S. Capitol was locked down because a gunshot was fired immediately outside its walls. Initial reports indicated only that the gunman had been “neutralized” by a “self-inflicted fatal gunshot.”

Putting aside the very odd language that authorities used to summarize what had occurred, once it was clear that this shooting was “only a suicide,” the story received very little further attention.

But if you consider the statistics that I presented in the second in this series of four posts, perhaps this story should have received much more attention—since almost two-thirds of the gun-related deaths that occur each year are suicides, and here was someone tragically illustrating that reality almost literally on the steps of the Capitol.

By the way, if one adds in the murder victims in murder-suicides, the number of gun-related deaths related to suicides…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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