I originally had a very different post planned for today, but in light of the recent tragedy in Connecticut I have decided to save it for another time. My thoughts and prayers are with the families.
—– —– —–
There has been a lot of media coverage about the tragic shooting in CT yesterday, but BY FAR my favorite insight comes buried deep in a DailyMail article:
But Professor Jackson said his main concern is that the killings will spark a copycat attack.
He continued: ‘It is often the case with spree killings that get wide-spread media coverage that another will happen a few weeks afterwards.
The article in question also mentions the Columbine High School massacre, the shooting at Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, and the shooting at Virginia Polytechnic (among others). They continue to get wide-spread media coverage long after the event.
The Onion sums up the nations’ mood nicely with this piece entitled “Fuck Everything, Nation Reports.”
From the Huffington Post: Mass Shootings in the U.S. since 2005 (basically it’s a population map, not a reason to move to the Dakotas).
It may feel like “school shootings happen all the time,” but they don’t. They are rarer than rare. They are as unpredictable as anything can be. And if today we find ourselves making a mental list, “Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook,” that’s because they are few enough, in a country of 300 million, that we know their names.
We ask why there’s violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?
I’m sorry Mr. Huckabee, I don’t think that God being in (or out) school has anything to do with it. I don’t believe in the same “God” as you do, nor do I want my children exposed to a hateful, vengeful god, who would sit back and “allow” children to be massacred simply because he “wasn’t in school.”
We need to stop glorifying gun violence.We need to stop giving it round-the-clock news coverage. The details are horrific and gruesome and only increase our fear, and increase our desire for “security” which often comes at the risk of freedom. Any time something like this happens politicians, journalists, bloggers (yes, I too am guilty) come crawling out of the woodwork to condemn the actions, call for gun laws, blame God, demand furthered “security” and rehash all the school shootings that have happened in the last twenty years. If such a tragedy should happen again, it seems likely that the media will start by comparing the new one to the most recent tragedy in CT.
Shootings like this, while horrible and tragic, are is a local tragedies. It does not merit 16 articles (most of which are content-redundant) on the front page of the DailyMail’s website, and 26 on the Drudge Report. We do not need to see interviews of traumatized children and on going footage “live on the scene” moments after it happens.
I agree, gun laws are important, and we have plenty of them that we need to enforce. How about we stop looking at the guns and start looking at the people. How do we prevent this from happening? How do we give people (sadly, it seems to be mainly young men) the tools to work through their problems without having them resort to killing?
Update 12/19/12: since I posted this I have come across the ironically titled “Newton to the Media: You’re Making this Nightmare Worse”
I think as all of us are consumers of the media, we need to take several huge steps back and ask ourselves, at what point do we need to step back and give the people space to grieve. They are talking to the police, they do not need media vans parked in their yards, hounding them like mad, and being constant reminders of the tragedy. The media can talk to an official police spokesperson, they do not need to hunt down neighbors, classmates, and fellow citizens who may or may not have known anyone involved. This is a disgrace, and we should all be ashamed of ourselves.