Following the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore. last week, People magazine took the unorthodox step of diving headfirst into the gun control debate by publishing the official contact information of all 535 voting members of the U.S. Congress. The House of Representatives, the Senate — everyone.
Jess Cagle, editorial director for People and Entertainment Weekly, used his weekly “Editor’s Letter” to broach the highly partisan topic of guns.
“We all ask ourselves the same questions: How could it happen again? What are we doing about gun violence in America? There are no easy answers, of course. Some argue for stricter gun laws, others say we should focus on mental health issues, some point to a culture that celebrates violence,” wrote Cagle.
— People magazine (@people) October 7, 2015
“But this much we know: As a country we clearly aren’t doing enough, and our elected officials’ conversations about solutions usually end in political spin.”
Cagle proceeded to describe what the magazine’s latest issue would entail: a tribute to the nine fatalities in Oregon, the other 22 people who’ve died in mass shootings in the past year, and alerting readers to what they can do about it. For the latter, he and his staff list the office phone numbers, emails and Twitter handles of the entire legislative branch.
The editorial director brought the post to Twitter’s attention Wednesday morning:
— Jess Cagle (@MrJessCagle) October 7, 2015
Unsurprisingly, the reaction was mixed. Many applauded Cagle’s move:
— Paul Wesley (@paulwesley) October 8, 2015
— rachelsklar (@rachelsklar) October 8, 2015
This is excellent. @people
— roxane gay (@rgay) October 8, 2015
Others decried it:
@MrJessCagle I agree something needs to be done. Mental illness needs to be treated. That is the issue not gun control.
— Roger McCoy (@rogermccoyradio) October 7, 2015
— Jennifer Watts (@JenniferEWatts) October 7, 2015
— NikolettAnnalisePio (@Choctaw_BlueEye) October 7, 2015
Check out the clip above, via People magazine.
[h/t Mother Jones]
[Image via screengrab]
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