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Gresham: Part of what contributes to a lot of concern is the 24-hour news cycle. Crimes like abductions, kidnappings and murders have been happening forever. Earlier, George Zimmerman would have been a local story somewhere in Florida and you would have never heard about it in Seattle. Now, it is a story that they talk about for a month or two months, because they need to fill airtime. Now, everyone is just more aware of the crime that is out there, and the more absurd or terrible the crime is, the more news coverage it gets!

eJournal: A good example of that might be the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in AZ. The news came out very quickly, and few could help but think, “I could have been in that crowd or near by. What would I have done?” When considering such events, what kinds of protective solutions do you think are favored younger people?

Gresham: So many people have not thought it through at all, and who knows what their response will be? It might be, “Oh, my gosh, let’s call the police!” or “Why can’t someone come help me?” But there are certainly going to be people who decide that pleading with a crazy person is not going to work so you have got to do something else. I think there are definitely people who look at these shootings and terrorist attacks and things of that nature, and they say, “You know what? I’m going to jump this guy” if something happens. They may not have thought, “Maybe it would be a good idea to get a gun and get trained,” but in the stories that I read about, I think I’m seeing more and more citizens intervening, jumping on people and holding them down. The Gabrielle Giffords shooting was a good example of that. Not everybody there curled up in the fetal position; not everybody there went running for their lives. Some people jumped on this guy and held him down.

eJournal: That takes some courage!

Gresham: I think it is great! If people would stop for two seconds and think about it, they’d start realizing that the police can’t stop a mass shooting.

eJournal: Perhaps the news reports are providing examples of courageous behavior that inspire potential victims to defend themselves or others.

Gresham: It is ironic that the liberal media is helping propagate the idea that there is a need for gun ownership. It is not just CNN, but it is news at your fingertips. It is like a buddy of mine says if we’re arguing about something from history or sports, “We don’t have to argue about this! With your phone, you have the world at your fingertips!”

eJournal: I’d agree, but with reservations because it is so hard to separate misinformation from fact in all the material online. Is that a skill your age group has mastered?

Gresham: I think so. I think they are more likely to check into something to see if it is true or false.

eJournal: How?

Gresham: Well, you have the Internet at your disposal. You know what is funny? People will also poll social media. That isn’t necessarily getting the facts, but it is a way of finding out what your friends know.

Just this last week during the presidential debate, I was looking on Facebook and a friend who is in the gun industry made a comment about the candidates talking about their views on guns. A friend of his (her profile picture is an Obama-Biden button), said, “I just don’t see why you are worried about an assault weapons ban. You guys don’t need machine guns anyway.” In a lot of the country, it is assumed that the assault weapons ban has something to do with machine guns. They just have no idea!

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