People Magazine Just Made an Unprecedented Push for Gun Control Solutions

Chris Pietsch/ZUMA

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People magazine, one of the country’s largest publications, with a circulation of more than 3.5 million readers, just threw its weight behind the push for increased gun control by publishing contacts for every member of Congress, and urging their readers to lobby for action.

In an editorial on Wednesday, the magazine’s editorial director Jess Cagle explained the unprecedented decision to enter the gun debate after the latest mass shooting at a community college in Oregon.

As President Obama said, our responses to these incidents—from politicians, from the media, from nearly everyone—have become “routine.” 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.

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.

In this issue we pay tribute to the nine Oregon victims, as well as 22 other men, women and children who’ve lost their lives in mass shootings—incidents where a murderer has opened fire on a crowd—in the U.S. during the past 12 months.

The move by People is remarkable considering the magazine—a staple at every newsstand and doctor’s office in America—is traditionally associated with celebrity gossip and general human interest stories that carry little risk of being offensive or overtly political, meaning its message could reach many more Americans outside the DC echo chamber, in which action on gun violence has completely stalled.

Read People‘s entire announcement here.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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