The Association of American Universities issued a statement Thursday calling on President Obama and members of Congress to take quick federal action to address gun violence in the United States, while scolding the mass media for an “addiction to violence,” the Huffington Post reports. The AAU, which comprises 60 leading U.S. and two Canadian research universities, pointed to the Newtown, Conn., massacre as a tipping point in the push for the federal government to reform gun laws.
“Our schools and campuses have unfortunately become centers of national mourning, from Columbine to Virginia Tech, and now Newtown,” the AAU statement reads. “As leaders of public and private universities, we strongly urge the President and the Congress to seek effective means of mitigating this scourge of American life. We believe that strong, meaningful action needs to occur in three domains: gun control, care of the mentally ill, and the culture of our contemporary media.”
Mental illness must be addressed, the AAU said, noting gun violence “is a complex problem.” The organization went on to affirm its fundamental commitment to freedom of speech, but said the media is partly to blame because of its “addiction to violence.”