Media Buffet When Violence Happens

23 Jul

The news media lately has been plastering pictures of the Aurora, Colorado shooter on their web pages, their morning news shows, at noon day news, right up until the evening and late night editions.  It’s been front line headlines.

But I’m not going to display his face, nor mention his name, because in the end that somehow has been glorifying this little slime ball for what he did, which was kill 12 people.  He opened fire in a packed theatre, caused terror and panic.  He’s no better than the terrorists that the fear mongers tell us to be worried about.

I’ve read that one of the dead in that shooting was a survivor of an earlier shooting in Toronto that saw two people killed.  That should be the headline.  The loved ones who have been named, revealed to the world.  Not the killer’s face, but the people he killed.

The story should focus on something different than trying to answer the question of why this crime was committed.  One such question, which seems to remain unanswered and even unasked, is why on earth was an unemployed young man able to purchase over $20,000 in weapons, 6,000 rounds of ammunition, body armour, and goodness knows what else in order to carry out this grand plan of his.  How is an unemployed person able to do that?  If I had $20,000 to waste, I sure wouldn’t waste it on weapons. There is some other debate rising, however, that states the killer did in fact have a job, that he was intelligent (but not really, let’s face it, he killed people, that’s not intelligent), that he was a lab assistant.  Still, that’s a lot of money even for someone in that field.

This entire fiasco has raised an alarmingly huge number of comparisons, most of which point to the fact that we are not, in fact, living in a post racial society.  That we still see the colour of someone’s skin as a threat.  There have been several stories of black men and women gunned down by police, but here is this one white man, armed to the teeth and blasting a way in a movie theatre, and he’s taken down without firing a shot, and he’s alive to face trial.

Plastering this terrorist’s mug all over the news isn’t shaming him.  This is his moment of fame.  He didn’t want to do this and slip away quietly.  It was boom or bust for him, go out in a blaze of glory and he’ll be talked about for weeks if not months.  Plus, it will bring back all the other horrors that happened in the past.

Like Columbine.

Like École Polytechnique.

Like Virginia Tech.

Like Dawson College.

Plastering his photo onto the nightly news doesn’t shame him at all.  Like telling a rape joke in the presence of a rapist, it reaffirms to others like this murderer that you too will get your face on the evening news.  All you have to do is find a way to buy some weapons and ammo, go somewhere public, and start firing.

We have to report the news, I understand this.  But we have to start doing it in a way where it won’t actually encourage more of this type of behaviour.

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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Fun, randomness


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