Insert Nouns Here: A Fill-in-the-Blank Template for a Mass Shooting News Article
The latest mass shooting in ______ (Insert Name Here) is being mourned across the nation. It did not happen in Milwaukee this time, but such tragedies reach into the hearts of the local community and do affect Wisconsin civic policies.
While the statistics pile up and news outlets flood media channels with sorrow and soul searching, one thing is painfully clear. When America wanted to put a man on the moon, the national attention was focused on achieving that goal. Yet for gun violence and mass shootings in particular, no effort other than to avoid the issue has been made.
It is therefore an observed conclusion that the American public – including the local Milwaukee community – really does not care about this issue, no matter how much they profess or shed crocodile tears. When children disappeared in the 1980s, photos began appearing on milk cartons. Now there are amber alerts on cell phones. When the public is motivated to take action for public safety, action gets taken even if is not always wise.
For all the faults and flaws of America’s elected officials and its broken political institutions, they represent the people. When the people demand change, they will have to act. They will have to pull funding from the trillions of dollars spent bombing foreign countries in a futile effort to cleanse terrorism and apply some of those resources to the domestic threat of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and White Supremacists.
So in the interest to save time and make the effort of reporting the news as standardized as the mass shootings themselves, this fill-in-the-blank news article format was compiled, based on a Mad Magazine cartoon. For a satirical illustrated publication to present this option was both ironic and prophetic.
Concerned members of the public who find this article in poor taste and insensitive to the memories of those who lost their lives on MM / DD / YYYY, we find the continued complicity of the public – from Milwaukee and across the nation – to be in poor taste and insensitive to the victims routinely affected by this preventable public health epidemic.
______ (Insert City Name) suffers latest attack by a white male gunman on ______ (Insert Date)
A gunman opened fire at a ◯ grade school ◯ high school ◯ college ◯ shopping mall ◯ concert today, killing ______ and injuring ______ .
Local law-enforcement officials who rushed to the scene said the white male gunman was armed with ______ semi-automatic assault rifles, ______ handguns, and ______ additional clips of ammo, all ◯ purchased legally ◯ purchased illegally ◯ given to the gunman by his parents.
The gunman was ◯ taken into custody ◯ shot and killed by police ◯ took his own life. A local resident at the scene expressed ◯ total disbelief ◯ strong anger ◯ complete dismay, saying a violent tragedy such as this never happens in this close-knit community. He said now, more than ever, he wants ◯ Congress to pass common-sense gun laws ◯ to get a gun to protect himself and his family.
Speaking from the White House, the President said he was ◯ deeply saddened ◯ deeply horrified ◯ deeply shocked ◯ deeply saddened, horrified, and shocked. He then ◯ offered his thoughts and prayers ◯ said immigrants were to blame ◯ cautioned the public not to rush to judgement because the shooter was white.
He concluded his remarks by ◯ ordering that all flags be flown at half mass and calling for a day of national mourning ◯ pledging the full support of the federal government in investigating the incident, ◯ announcing that he will visit with the families of the victims later this week ◯ saying he would not comment until all the facts were in.
Meanwhile, prominent Republicans ◯ offered their thoughts and prayers for the victims of an event that could not be prevented ◯ called for greater enforcement of existing laws ◯ placed the blame for the shooting on violent movies, video games, and mental illness ◯ said the answer to the problem is “more good guys with guns.”
Today’s mass shooting was the ______th since Sandy Hook in 2012, bringing the total death count to ______ .
A spokesman for the NRA ◯ declined to comment ◯ said that now is not the time to hold a debate about gun control ◯ declared that the passage of any kind of gun-control legislation violates the Second Amendment.