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  4. Sunday, 18 February 2018
By now, I'm sure most of you have heard about the latest mass shooting in an American school. This time it hit very close to home for me. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is in Parkland, Florida, only 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of my own school, Forest Hill High.(In fact, I once got a phone call asking if I was interested in interviewing for a teaching position there.) I've already starting working on a fan fiction story in which the Supergirl Team has to deal with a school shooting situation in National City.
But what about the TV show? Do you guys think the TV writers ought to take on the uniquely American (unfortunately) issue of school shootings? Or is it too "real world" for a superhero show that is essentially based on a fantasy premise to begin with? (Yes, I know - this isn't "SWAT" or "Law & Order"...)

At any rate, I thought I'd share this letter to America's public-school teachers. For me, it captures exactly how many of us feel today:

https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/a-love-letter-to-teachers-after-yet-another-school-shooting
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If they do, it won't be this season. I'm willing to bet this entire season is already mapped out.

I care about the issue, but I don't know if it's the most appropriate issue for Supergirl to be tackling. I don't have a problem with the show tackling real issues. But it usually takes those issues and portrays them in a fantastical or sci fi scenario. The show itself focuses on a refugee of a dead planet. "Welcome to Earth" and "Medusa" (as well as several others) dealt with immigration, but on interplanetary scale instead of international. "Crossfire" touched on gun control, but with alien firearms. Cadmus has always been a representation of extremist anti-immigrant groups. And "Supergirl Lives" dealt with the horror of human trafficking, but in terms of them being sold as interplanetary slaves.

And dealing with these issues in a fantastical or sci fi scenario just fits this series. But I'm not sure how they could pull that off an episode about school shootings and keep it that way. They'd likely have to take a "realistic" route to it. But when you're protagonist has super powers, it's not easy to do a story like that.

It's also a really dark issue to approach, that doesn't have a clear cut "solution", so it's not an easy issue for the characters, or writers, to approach.

The only scenario I can imagine is them dealing with the AFTERMATH of a school shooting. And yeah, maybe it takes place at Ruby's school. In my opinion, that episode wouldn't be about how to remedy the issue...but rather just to approach how the characters deal with it. How would Kara/Supergirl feel about not making it in time?

This is a dark turn...but another possibility is that Supergirl makes it to the school, but doesn't know what to do. In a scenario like this, the culprit isn't just some evil madman she can punch. It's a child, who, for some unimaginable reason, has gone down this horrendous path. Superpowers can't fix that situation. There is the very real possibility that they could write it in a way that Supergirl talks down the shooter, like she did in season 1's "Human for a Day". But I don't think that would do justice to this issue. These situations, in real life, almost never end like that. It's terrible to say, but I think the more powerful story would be for Supergirl to fail. She may keep the shooter from hurting others, but the shooter maybe ends up taking their own life. And Kara spends the episode coming to terms with the fact that there are some things Supergirl can't fix. Not everything is black and white, good and evil.

It's really hard to imagine the writers and crew doing an episode this dark. It feels like something we'd be more likely to see on Arrow, which has a far more grounded reality, and where the lead character has a child who would be deeply impacted by an issue like this. I actually feel it'd be a fantastic fit for an episode of Arrow.
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"Glee did it, but since it was about a high school."

Yes, but Supergirl does have a middle or high-school student character in Ruby.
The way I would envision a school shooting-related story playing out on Supergirl (if it was done) would be a typical Hollywood "saved at the very last second" type of scenario. Maybe Ruby picks up on some clues on a fellow student who is acting strangely (and perhaps also posting weird stuff on social media). She tells other people at her school about this, but nothing is really done. But then she mentions it to Alex, who is clearly alarmed - and the Supergirl Team swings into action. And of course, Supergirl arrives on the scene just as the perpetrator is ready to take the first shot, and puts a stop to it. In any event, that's how I'm planning to write it in my own story.

"Given that the right to access and ownership of guns is virtually sacred in the U.S., if the show was to tackle the issue it would have to be done in a non-partisan way and avoid finger-pointing politics at all costs."

And that is pretty much what I just described...


I don't think they can do this in a non-partisan way.....just don't think they can do it. However, yeah I could see something like that happening with Ruby. But, not right now....too soon.
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I’m gonna have to say no to a school shooting on Supergirl. It’s just not well positioned to tackle this issue. Supergirl is will positioned to tackle immigrants/refugees and women’s issues because the protagonist is all of of those things. IMO the CW show that is best positioned to tackle a school shooting is Riverdale where the main characters are actually students. That way it wouldn't have to be a single episode.
Hope, Help and Compassion for all
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"Glee did it, but since it was about a high school."

Yes, but Supergirl does have a middle or high-school student character in Ruby.
The way I would envision a school shooting-related story playing out on Supergirl (if it was done) would be a typical Hollywood "saved at the very last second" type of scenario. Maybe Ruby picks up on some clues on a fellow student who is acting strangely (and perhaps also posting weird stuff on social media). She tells other people at her school about this, but nothing is really done. But then she mentions it to Alex, who is clearly alarmed - and the Supergirl Team swings into action. And of course, Supergirl arrives on the scene just as the perpetrator is ready to take the first shot, and puts a stop to it. In any event, that's how I'm planning to write it in my own story.

"Given that the right to access and ownership of guns is virtually sacred in the U.S., if the show was to tackle the issue it would have to be done in a non-partisan way and avoid finger-pointing politics at all costs."

And that is pretty much what I just described...
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They have already hit upon the 2nd amendment in Season 2, I don't see them taking on school shootings. Glee did it, but since it was about a high school. As for Supergirl, a hostage situation? sure.....but as far as something as specific as school shootings? no....
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Short answer: Maybe.

Given that the right to access and ownership of guns is virtually sacred in the U.S., if the show was to tackle the issue it would have to be done in a non-partisan way and avoid finger-pointing politics at all costs.

The issues revolving around psychological illness, lax or non-existent laws, background checks, monitoring domestic threats, and gun culture may be addressed but like the political and social aspects of it, it must be done in a very clever and compassionate way. Hollywood has a hard time doing or addressing this issue because it actively promotes gunplay in films, TV, animation and other media platforms as a means of selling/promoting its products.

Although the issue of mass shootings is baffling and abhorrent in most countries outside of war zones, it is a too common occurrence in the U.S. The sad reality is that small, entrenched interest groups with very deep pockets and iron-clad political ties is calling the shots (figuratively and literally).

Until the general U.S. culture views and disavows such lax gun access, the situation will not change. Shootings will continue and empty thoughts and prayers will be said, but nothing will come of it. The only way drastic change will happen is when U.S. society as a whole changes and rejects the 2nd Amendment as it currently stands and demands and gets long overdue responsible gun ownership laws.

This does not imply that guns will be taken away from anyone, but it does imply that there must be background/psychological checks, heavy restrictions on access to military-style weapons, and a complete and widespread enforcement (at shops, gun shows and online) of strengthened ownership/user licenses.

Remember the old saying: "Violence begets violence." And, until the mass violence tipping point has been reached in the U.S., it will be the same old same old.
"Ain't No Easy Way" - Train, from the CD/LP/Download, AM Gold. (2022)

"Money In The Bag" (Ft. Kiesza), and "Voices Carry" - Lights, from the CD/LP/Download PEP. (2022)

"Burn The Damn Thing Down" - The Black Keys, from the CD/LP/Download, Dropout Boogie. (2022)
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