The other day there was a shooting in a Portland Oregon Mall and someone on the TV stated that there must have been 10,000 people in that mall this time of year. I turned to someone next to me and said; “god don’t say that,” and I then explained that copycat shooters or depressed individuals during the holiday might hear that and then consider it a quasi-challenge to shoot even more people.
A couple of days later there was a horrific shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut, then for four or five days every news station continued coverage. Why?
It’s bad enough, but to ruin everyone’s holiday or to give ideas to folks who are less-than-mentally-stable sure seems like a really bad idea. They might see that and realize they can get their 5-days of fame and go out in style in a blaze of glory. No, that’s not how we might view it, but that’s how they might see it. Why give them any ideas?
Then the news media spends the coming weeks reminding us of the tragedy, telling us of the reason “why” the shooters or shooter did such a heinous act. Then every politicians under god’s green Earth has to chime in, as if on cue they see an opportunity for the spotlight or some ridiculous photo-op. Even more sociopath limelight seekers come out of the woodwork to state their opinions. Do we really need all this?
No, no we don’t and the bigger deal we make out of it, the more we ensure that someday, perhaps even in the near future we will get a repeat or a copycat. Each time the new shooter works to better the score, to be the biggest mass killer of all time. The smarter the shooter the higher the victim counts it seems – and what does the media do, it keeps score. Why?
Giving notoriety to the shooter, even post mortem, only emboldens the next purveyor of evil. It’s not that humans aren’t inherently problematic to start with, we already know this to be the case – it’s that somehow we expect it to happen again, and the media feeds that frenzy, and unfortunately, there is always someone willing to step up to plate to oblige.
Lastly, we all want to blame someone, trying to make sense of what had happened and why. We talk about how society outcasts individuals, we talk about mental health, we talk about gun control, and safety in our schools, malls, and the work place too. We even talk about the media’s hand in all of this, but have you noticed that the media isn’t blaming themselves? They are one element and factor and without events like this they wouldn’t be able to capture our viewership, readership, or click-throughs.
So, I ask; How much of this can we blame on the media? How much should we? How much of that responsibility will they admit to before the next one?