Not a single week of 2022 has passed without multiple mass shootings. 343 people have been killed and 1,391 injured through July 4 of this year. In Uvalde, Texas, a troubled 18-year-old conducted the deadliest school shooting in a decade, killing his grandmother, 19 children and two teachers from Robb Elementary School. In Buffalo, New York, a white gunman killed 10 Black elders in a mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket. These events were devastating, but not unprecedented. Both shooters were young adults and had a history of being engaged with more violent online communities. The perpetrator in the Buffalo hate crime attempted to livestream the attack while it was happening.
On this episode of TechTank, host Dr. Nicol Turner Lee examines the role technology, particularly social media, has played in these and previous mass shootings, and looks into how the public has reacted online to prospects of gun legislation and rising political polarization in the United States. Guests include Leo Pasvolsky Senior Fellow and University of Maryland College Park professor Carol Graham, who is also a senior scientist at Gallup, and TechTank co-host, Darrell West, who is also the vice president and director of Governance Studies, Douglas Dillion Chair in Governance Studies, and senior fellow at the Center for Technology Innovation.