As the media and liberals continue their anti-gun rhetoric in response to recent school shootings the media should look in the mirror and see how it contributes to random violence. A typical random mass shooter is a mentally ill loner who believes that society has marginalized him so he wants to do something so “everyone will know his name”. The media gives him his 15 minutes of fame plus many days thereafter.
We all knew the names of the killers after the Columbine attack. We heard them and saw their pictures for weeks. Is it any coincidence that so many “copycat” killers have studied the attack at Columbine to a point of obsession? Yes, the media needs to report the crime, to tell us his name, to show us his picture; and to tell us if he was motivated by mental illness, legal or illegal drug use, gang association, or radicalization; but after that focus on the victims, not the killer. Here’s my suggestion.
After the initial report, unless there’s a significant new development, don’t use his name or show his picture. Use a shadow picture and just call him “the murderer”. Don’t call him “shooter” or “sniper” or any term that sounds like a movie title, just call him “the murderer” or “the mass murderer”. Don’t make excuses for him because he is not the victim, those he shot are. Don’t give the next copycat wannabe any rationale for his irrational intent. If a parent gave weapons to a child whom they knew had mental issues or was simply too young to legally possess a firearm advocate for holding that parent responsible because in many states gun owners are legally responsible for securing guns from anyone in the home who shouldn’t have access to them.
Putting all the blame on the weapons is politically convenient but it oversimplifies the problem of violence. Guns don’t make people kill any more than cars make people drive drunk. People make that choice. Parents ignore signs of mental illness in their children, some schools don’t adequately confront bullying, friends ignore warnings posted on social media, drug companies push drugs with side-effect warnings of violent or suicidal tendencies, cities have gang problems they choose to ignore, and the mental health “system” (if it can be called that) is incapable of meeting the demand for services, particularly if inpatient care is needed.
Look back 50-60 years. People could buy guns, even by mail, without any controls yet the country didn’t have mass shootings like today. Regardless of it’s appearance a gun is still a tool that requires a human operator to function. What has changed are people, so people must be held responsible.
Disclaimer: I use “him” because recent mass murderers have been male but there’s no reason why a female couldn’t commit a similar act.