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Old December 16 2012, 08:19 PM   #122
Locutus of Bored
The Author of All Your Pain
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Re: MASSIVE Elementary School Shooting in CT *12-24 Maybe be dead

Tora Noel wrote: View Post
Morgan Freeman's statement about these random shootings....

"You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why.

It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you kn
ow the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem."
With all due respect to God President General CIA-Director FBI-Special-Agent Judge Supreme-Narrator Freeman, but he's making the same problematic argument that always plagues these discussions; the fixation on blaming the thing he dislikes most at the expense of all others, and the idea that solving that problem will curb all of these incidents.

Yes, media sensationalism of these incidents is a huge factor in perpetuating them, but so is a lack of effective gun control and background checks (which he dismisses), a lack of available and affordable/free mental health care and screening (which he thankfully mentions), violent and fearmongering cultural trends and possibly entertainment, bullying, lack of job or financial security, etc. No one problem is the total cause nor is fixing any one problem the total solution. Which is not to say we shouldn't try to fix one or hopefully as many problems as we can in the meantime instead of just declaring it all hopeless, but we can't put all our eggs in one basket and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done either.

Tulin wrote: View Post
I am glad I live in a country(OZ)where counselling is funded by the government for the most vulnerable people that need it!

It's no wonder the YEW-ESS is going down the drain.
I'd take your comments more seriously if they weren't constantly couched in your usual snide anti-Americanism (which is just one of your many ugly biases) and crudeness.

RJDonner&Blitzen wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
I think part of the problem is that these discussions - gun control, mental health, violence - only seem to catch people's attention when we're dealing with reaction to the aftermath of a terrible crime. And that's not a good time to hold such a discussion, because distress and anger and confusion are all running high. When you're responding to something like this in the immediate aftermath, any reaction is going to be concerned with either soothing unrest and providing comfort or exploiting the unrest to some political or ideological end. Neither of those lends itself easily to a truthful examination of a society. People will latch onto the easy answers or the comfortable old debates (e.g. American gun control), and because a show of solidarity becomes incredibly important after events like this, it means the more uncomfortable issues are not going to be examined for fear of harming that sense of emotional unity.
Well said indeed, DN.
I disagree. Not with the fact that it's well-said (it is), but with the premise that the aftermath of an incident is not the right time to discuss it. Sure, you should wait until at least the primary details of the incident are known so you can make an informed argument, but once that's happened I think there's no better time to discuss it than when it's fresh in people's minds and the reason we should take action is most apparent.

What happens when the gap between these incidents gets small enough that the "too soon to talk about the cause" moratorium crosses over into the next shooting? Do we continue not to talk about from there, because that's too soon again? FOX News would certainly have us think so. Jon Stewart was recently talking about another shooting incident that took place before this, but his argument dovetails nicely into this one and point out why the "too soon" argument falters:

I agree that these types of discussions should continue even when there's no major shooting incidents going on, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about it in the immediate aftermath --with enough time to make informed arguments-- as well.
'First Contact' is the tale of a man who just wants to cash in on his creation so he can get wasted on an island full of naked women, but his fans keep insisting that he's a saintly visionary who has profoundly altered the world. AKA - 'I Don't Want to be a Statue: The Gene Roddenberry Story.'
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