Like most people, I am dismayed at the latest in too many mass killings, that as President Obama said following the tragedy in Oregon, “Have become routine.”
How sad is that?
A friend on Facebook pointed out that there has been over 275 mass shootings so far in 2015, and I was shocked. Checking to verify the number I came across an article by Christopher Ingraham in the Washington Post that had the scary truth. The number is over 300, though not all incidents make the national news.
Charleston. Lafayette. Virginia. Now, Roseburg, Ore. But beneath the steady drumbeat of these high-profile cases lie the hundreds of daily mass shootings that most of us never hear about. Eleven wounded in a Georgia barroom. Six shot outside a Tulsa nightclub. A pregnant mom and grandmother killed, an infant wounded in Chicago.
We’ve gone no more than eight days without one of these incidents this year. On six days in September, there were three mass shootings or more. If the initial casualty figures in Oregon hold up, that would bring the total of deaths by mass shooting this year to 380 so far, with well over 1,000 injured.
Back when I was writing the first edition of my book, Coping With Weapons and Violence In School and on Your Streets, my fervent hope was that there soon would no longer be a need for my book. That soon there would be no more people killed for reasons we can hardly fathom. Unfortunately, my wish has yet to be fulfilled.
Among the many reasons a person who is troubled might pick up a weapon and weild it against a crowd of people is the notoriety. In fact this latest shooter said in a blog post linked to him, that he relished the headlines garnered by Vester Flanagan, the man who shot the two reporters in Virginia in August.
“A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone … Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight,” the post read.
The Oregon sheriff investigating the shooting in Roseburg, is refusing to give the shooter the limelight. He refused to identify the suspect on Friday, saying “he wanted to deny the shooter notoriety, the ultimate prize he sought in the bloodshed.”
Law enforcement sources did identify the suspect as a 26-year old man who lived with his mother in nearby Winchester.
I omitted the shooter’s name for the same reason the sheriff refuses to say it. Unlike the point about not ignoring the ridiculous in the media made by Dahlia Lithwick, on my blog yesterday, we should ignore the seekers of fame who kill people for notoriety.
Please join me in a moment of silence in respect for the families of all the victims.
3 thoughts on “Don’t Glorify the Killers”
I tried to make this point in a Facebook comment but was shot down by a gun control advocate who said I was “blaming the messenger.” Access to guns by troubled people is indeed a problem, but don’t we have to dig deeper than that? And what’s wrong with the media exercising journalist integrity along with journalistic freedom? Report the darned news, but don’t sensationalize every horrible killing and the person who commits it.
Patricia, you are right about having to dig deep for answers, and after all my research, I still don’t know them all. 🙂 Many things feed into the problem of violence of this sort, guns in the wrong hands, mental illness issues, the way the media and entertainment industry glorifies violence, and lack of parental involvement in kids lives. It is foolish to jump on just one thing, gun control, as the perfect solution without considering those other influences.
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