Aurora to Newton

The second-half year of 2012 has been slewed with the blood of innocent people from August to just yesterday midday along with other disasters, cancellations and controversies that plagued my city. Despite I was personally sore at the loss of both Halloween and the Marathon but that will pass. Not much as I can say for the families and victims of the Newton shootings that once again people from all over the Internet are abuzz with the basic arguments of gun control, how the media are handling it, and every piece of drama are there to tug at your heartstrings to get you to feel with them at this horrible tragedy…

…Frankly I’ve grown sick of it all from all sides.

From what I gather in the past couple of hours, there has been talks all over and TV time stuffed with coverage of the event since the time I tuned away from the Science channel to watch Inside Edition and now with that same amount of time these came up.

1. Media Saturation

This was not news, this was just looking at stuff. And the only message it imparted was: Look… Look… Look… Keep Looking… Keep Looking At Them… Look… Look… Look…

~Charlie Brooker on the McCanns

This is what the media comes to us to get is to not forget, not move on and not you know, look away and we are all faced with something that has been with us since the start of the century let alone since the last ten years of the last: Saturation Coverage. With me it all started with Columbine and the Oklahoma City Bombing events that while was still every young didn’t much care for because it got in the way of my regular television programming in a time when I was deprived of cable and the Internet and that applied with every other time the special report alerts came in that constantly scare me shitless hoping that it isn’t catastrophic. However the flash point where my non-caring became outright apathy after 9-11. Where both the experience and the term “Saturation Coverage” became clear to me when it not only interfered my regular TV watching on that day but for weeks and weeks afterwards.

It even hit the Internet which I now have personally at the time doesn’t make it any better. Harrowing images of the victims families displayed over and over. The details of how everything came end up like this, the emotional hold back of the reporters who just happen to fly to the scene on a breath’s notice when it becomes national news. Fast forward to the present and you can see that hasn’t changed and has even gotten worse with the advent of having composers create musical tracks for it. I bet it would be outright sick if those same news composers would dare to sell soundtracks of Virgina Tech or Aurora (oops). There was a video from Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe on the details of the Winnenden school shooting which you never heard about.

Why would you? How could you? It didn’t happen in your country or anywhere else Americans seem to care but the outline from what the Media did their ridiculously applies to what we’re doing here. And time after time, they’re guilty of it. I linked this video because it’s now the most viewed after the Aurora shootings, again after Newton.

Dr. Park Dietz whether he made this up on the spot or had this planned through his 20 years of oversight, lays out what could have been the basic rules for what Media should not do when a tragic shooting takes place but despite his warnings, the media still continues on with it. Based on the outline, have they?

  • Don’t start the story with sirens blaring.
    • Yes
  • Don’t have photographs of the killer.
    • Recently discovered and now plastered on every channel. So Yes.
  • Don’t make this 24/7 coverage.
    • No thankfully, they decided to break it up on the first day alone but the seven-day part will still stick.
  • Don’t make the body count the lead story.
    • Do I even have to answer that? They even made that out in text.
  • Don’t make the killer some kind of anti-hero
    • Black is all the rage among killers in the past and the killer of the Newton shooting wasn’t any different. Black, the official color of an anti-hero which is an insult to anti-heroes everywhere!
  • Do localize the story to the affected story, and try to make the story as boring as possible.
    • It can never be localized once the national news gets their hands on it. All bets are off the moment some idiot manager at the local affiliate picked up the phone to call the national HQ with the story and soon it spreads itself all over the place.

And that’s what the news has done to get us to sit there and keep looking at these images that in turn gets us to feel their pain and sympathy. In reality it would have been more easy to just turn off the TV or look to other channels but thanks to the new age of covering tragedy, it instinctively makes us want to smash the TV and not just change the channel.

2. Public Outcry

Nothing can be more nonsensical and outrageous than the public outcry of the shootings and use it as a soapbox for radical changes based on fear-based kneejerk reactions like animals than human beings. Tumblr isn’t any different when user spiegelman puts his little insight on the matter of guns in America:

Let’s get one thing straight. The Bill of Rights is not a moral doctrine. It’s the product of a negotiation. The negotiation happened 223 years ago, when different concerns were on the table, when evil existed but didn’t walk into a school and murder 18 children. Rights are the product of politics, they are not bestowed upon you by God, and the Founding Fathers were representatives of interest groups, not prophets. We have every ability to repeal the 2nd Amendment.

To people who say that if the 2nd Amendment goes, then we have to worry about the 1st and 5th and the other good ones that have become part of the American credo: I say good luck to anyone who thinks they can get those repeals through the political process.

And to the idiots at Fox News who said Jovan Belcher could have just as easily murdered his girlfriend with a knife, so a gun ban doesn’t make sense —just try to argue that 18 children could have been murdered by knives this morning, you intellectually dishonest and complicit miscreants.

Very few things make me not want to jump in and report but this really ticked me off. When a shooting happens the masses’ drive for either more gun control or an outright national ban on guns through a constitutional amendment. Which in my opinion is the very idea of how to make yourself sound insane. No one in this country is going to come up and give up the second amendment based on tragedy in which with data and figures still make the kneejerk reaction like animals out of fear and want to take away something that will come back and bite us all in the ass in the future. This is less of a matter of “if you take away guns, only criminals will have guns.” and more of “If you take away guns, people will find new ways to kill”.

Another argument from the crowd is that guns only have one function and one function alone: To kill. Well no. It provides the fastest and most efficient way to do it. By wanting to take away guns you are prompting a new generation of unforeseeable nutjobs to seek something else to do the job and still get the same result. You can argue all you want about if you want guns in America gone or not, it would just embolden the evil-doers to find something more creative and when they do, it would be much, much worse. By the way, since no one was mentioning this but I discovered online that someone was making out their sympathies to the Newton victims and China.

Gee, where did that came from? So I looked it up and other than the 75th Anniversary of the Nanking Massacre (as if we need more stories about senseless killing already), a knife-wielding maniac in central China went after 22 children. Two more than what happened here but never gotten the attention Newton has, why is that? Well like Winnenden, it happened in another country, that we can’t associate with other than the emotional toll and more importantly, nobody died. As an old saying goes, if it bleeds, it leads. Or more appropriately if it bleeds and dies, it leads better!

3. Motivations, Emotions and Aftermath

When you look at it from all sides, it really comes down to the issue of how, why or what led up to the killers of Aurora, Oregon, Midtown Manhattan and now Newton. The answers are all over the place and people are directing other people not to look at this reason but look at that. Why wasn’t anyone looking after these people who are walking time bombs that just happen to come across resources and time to pull of such terrible crimes. Only we’ll know more about this in the coming weeks and even worse that this is the holiday season so it would tug more at your heartstrings as the news repeats this over and over to make you more depressed.  Also note that there were children involved. Once we regard them as screaming, crying brats that seem to make our adult lives a living hell but it makes a complete 180 when they get senselessly killed.

Mass murder of adults? Unless your 9-11, It’s not an attention grabber. Killing of teens in college? That will get you a couple of weeks. But a group of humans who just barely starting to make it out in the world? That shit sticks and will get world leaders to toss in their sympathies. There’s also seem to be a magic number involved when it comes to people getting killed. 10 seems to be it. If you can reach past that, you’re newsworthy and that’s really sad. In the end I believe the moment children get harmed, the news goes nuts and the people would eat it hook, line and sinker.

Conclusion

With me, I really do feel for the victims of the tragedies that happened this year but I feel that everything has gone about this the wrong way thanks in part to the news covering the story and bashing the message into our brains and the people throwing up in a panic in so not a good time. While I can just avoid the TV, I can’t escape the tickers, the papers, the conversations with other people around me becomes the mantra that makes me want to put a gun to my mouth. I gave the whole situation some thought and so far here are my remedies to the people who are on this story.

  • For the news media: Stop and take a moment from Dr. Dietz and think more of the impact rather than ratings.
  • For the nuts who should think guns should be banned or more controlled: Stop and listen to yourself for a moment of what you’re saying and if you’re from another country telling us what we shouldn’t have, then you have no right to even be in this conversation.
  • For everyone else: If you really want to give your heartfelt condolences to the victims who are hurting then I got one piece of advice: Don’t watch. That’s it. I know it sounds radical and counterintuitive but that’s the best solution if you really want to give these people the time to grieve, then don’t give into the methods that got you hooked into the story in the first place.

For all it’s worth, 2012 was a total year of suck for everyone but lets give the benefit to the victims by not having cameras aimed and reporters hounding them for questions while in a fresh state of agony and us having to throw a nation and the web into a tailspin by not watching it anymore. I’m not saying we ignore it, but to leave them alone to let them experience real peace.

…Until the next massacre *sigh*.

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