Takes on a tragedy

Jun 14, 2016

"This is how easy it is to get an assault rifle. Something needs to change," asserts Fortune's Laura Lorenzetti after reading Helen Ubinas column announcing "I bought an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in Philly in 7 minutes" (at a whopping 27,000+ shares right now). "It took far longer to try and turn it in," points out Stephanie Farr at Daily News. "It takes me longer to buy a pair of shoes than it took this woman to buy an AR-15," realizes Johanna Barr at the Huffington Post. This same weapon used in the Orlando shooting this weekend was on promotion as "gun of the week," Ubinas reports: "I told the guy I was on a budget, so I got an AR-15 for $759.99. God bless America." At the New York TimesJack Healy reacts, "I don't know how @NotesFromHeL is going to put a $760 AR-15 on her expense report." Others, like The Federalist's David Harsanyi, were turned off by Ubinas' tone: "an appeal to emotion -- now with scary pictures!" And Stu Bykofsky with Daily News found fault with her argument, calling the ease with which she purchased "Not 'news'" but rather "an illustration that law-abiding citizens can buy guns if they clear background check." Still, Ellen Gray at the Philadelphia Daily News urges, "I hope you have 7 minutes for @NotesFromHeL this morning."

We also learned today that Omar Mateen's wife allegedly tried to talk him out of the Orlando attack. "So the wife was with him when he bought ammo AND once drove him to Pulse 'because he wanted to scope it out'," details National Journal's Ben Pershing. "Do you think the gunman's wife should be charged?" asks Ellie Merritt at NBC 4 Columbus. And we learned the shooter may have been gay himself. "Reporting seems to indicate the Orlando shooter was more a self-loathing closet case than an ISIS-backed jihadist," argues FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver. Meanwhile, CNN's Anderson Cooper made an emotional tribute in the form of naming the victims one by one and offering a detail or two about each one: "They are more than a list of names. They are people who loved and who were loved," Cooper said. At The AtlanticMatt Thompson pointed out that some of the victims' gay lifestyle may have been outed by the attacks. " Thought about this all day and night: how many people were forced out of the closet by the Pulse shooting?" wonders BuzzFeed's Lindsey Adler. Simultaneously, newsrooms are sending food to the Orlando Sentinel as they work around the clock to cover this story -- a sweet gesture among media that is too quickly becoming a tragic tradition. "I love these stories. Way to support one another, newies," applauds Karen Scherting at The Billings Gazette.

And because no gun-related tragedy can escape politicization, President Barack Obama fiercely scolded Donald Trump for his "dangerous" mind-set today, embarking on a "tirade" against Trump over his Muslim ban and references to "radical Islam." Although perhaps "tirade" is a bit of a strong word. "The flip side of the media 'normalizing' Trump: 'Trumpizing' Obama," notices freelance journalist John McQuaid. And as we're talking Trump, you might be intrigued to know Russian government hackers evidently hacked the DNC and stole opposition research on Trump. "Just what this election was missing: Russian spies," muses Washington Post's Jose DelReal. "Weird. It's almost as if the Kremlin has taken an interest in another country's election," remarks Texas Monthly's Erica Grieder. That's thoughtful of them!

About the author

Writes the @MuckRackDaily & runs #muckedup chat. Creator of #100helpfuldays. I can haz media tips? kirsten@sawhorsemedia.com

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