“It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency,” the editorial board wrote. “These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection.”
The editorial was a response to the latest mass shooting to capture national headlines: a married couple’s rampage at an employee holiday party in San Bernardino, California that left 14 dead on Wednesday.
Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. told the Associated Press that this was the first time the newspaper has run an editorial on Page 1 since 1920. The Times’ intention is to “deliver a strong and visible statement of frustration and anguish about our country’s inability to come to terms with the scourge of guns.”
The editorial board chastised national political leaders for failing to pass “the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing,” offering prayers to the families of victims of gun violence but no concrete solutions.
The New York Daily News also called out politicians’ “thoughts and prayers” reaction to the San Bernardino shootings with a Thursday cover headline that read “GOD ISN'T FIXING THIS."