Sunday, October 26, 2014

School Shootings. (so you can avoid this if you wish.)

Old-timers here know my opinion.  Which has just been clearly demonstrated, again.

This young man, almost certainly, would never have chosen this method of suicide, if it hadn't been pounded into him repeatedly that this is a great way to die.

I will not belabor it; I already have here.  The reason for bringing it up at all is that the present instance is a change; a metastasis of the disease.

This is blindingly obvious to me; and I truthfully am unable to comprehend how it is NOT obvious to everyone.

These events are suicides; every one of them.

A certain type of potential suicide will choose this path- not because it hurts people; but because it makes the shooter an instant world-wide celebrity.  Next week, everyone will still be discussing how your potty-training made you a killer, your face will be everywhere; they'll write books about you, and every time a similar suicide happens, they'll run all your stories again, with photographs.  Immortality, really.  By god, the world will never forget what a shitty deal you got.

We don't publish names and photos of rape victims; and no one suffers because of that horrifying restriction on our "right to know!"  The fact is, the papers love these events now- because they make SO much money off them.  Someone needs to document the money; imagine the headline then: "Numbers reveal CNN makes $130 Million for every school shooting."  They do, you know.

This young man experienced something traumatic last week; probably with his cousins, and it was difficult to live with.  In normal times, he might have hanged himself, alone.  That would be horrible, and should be prevented if possible.

But it would not even have occurred to him to shoot his cousins also- except that at his age, they've been having "shooter lock-down" events at school since he was in kindergarten.  Obviously, this is what's expected.

Never publish the names.  Never publish the photos.  Never discuss their "reasons" (which baffle the authorities always).  If the shooters are "erased"; there will be no shooters.

Can anyone explain why (besides the money) this is not obvious?

Because I literally don't get it.


Anisa/lazyhomesteader said...

As someone who was in high school in Colorado with best friends at Columbine in 1999, I can say that it IS obvious and we all wish they would STOP talking about these sad sacks. Talk about the victims if you must, but quit speaking and printing the names and pictures of the killers. Disgusting.
Now that I'm a parent, and especially after Sandy Hook, I can't read about these events. At all. I appreciate the warning at the top of your post and the way you didn't really describe what happened. I don't know and I don't want to.

Greenpa said...

Anisa- welcome, here; I did notice you a couple posts back. :-)

There is an immense opportunity here for some journalistic leadership. Some great publication- say the Boston Globe, just for instance- COULD - actually COULD - unilaterally make it their policy to NOT run photos and stories about this kind of thing. Say so; loudly. Go ahead, publish "There was a suicide incident at a school in Baltimore yesterday." And end it; there.

I think there are THOUSANDS of people who would cheer; and maybe change their default news service so they don't have to see stuff no one needs, and which is lethally counterproductive.

Eventually, you would see advertisers pulling their business from media which did not comply.

I suggested just that to both WaPo and NYT, years ago; no response from NYT, of course, and a surly "We print the news, this is news." from WaPo.

Leadership? Nah. Somebody might launch a good on-line petition, these days. Or do the White House 20K thing. I'm already at 300% overload here, my people would kill me if I took on something else. But... Anyone?....

Hank Roberts said...

Next time you're around paper books, look up a copy of Theodore Sturgeon's short story "And Now The News" (December 1956). It's pertinent.