Wednesday , February 8 2023

The Media Gave the Las Vegas Shooter Exactly What He Wanted

I cannot believe that I have to write about this again, but I am compelled to do so because the sickening pattern continues. Every time people turn homicidal and inflict death and injury on a massive scale, the media play right into their hands. Within a very short time span, the killers become household names, and their faces are beamed out for all the world to see. It is truly quite a despicable but by now predictable practice, and this not only gives the killers the exposure they crave but also encourages potential mass murderers out there.

The recent shooting at the Harvest 91 Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a perfect example of the media falling right into a depraved killer’s hands. This monster slaughtered 58 people and wounded over 500 more, and the media do everything in their power to get his story out to the public. Keeping to my own personal practice, I refuse to mention the killer’s name or include a photograph because this murderer does not deserve any of the fame he obviously and most desperately sought.

The insatiable greed of the media is never more apparent at times like these. In the incessant drive to stoke ratings, the media will do anything to keep people watching and reading. Yes, there will be a few stories about the victims, but sadly not as many as there are about the killer. For the media, in this story the victims are just tertiary characters; the killer is the star.

I do not care to know about the killer or his motivation and his back story. I want to know more about the victims. These people were going about their lives in a perfectly ordinary manner, attending a concert because music is one of life’s greatest joys. None of them should have been subjected to this pernicious and senseless violence; they should have been able to go home and have wonderful memories of that event.

Each one of the dead has a backstory, and that is what the media should be broadcasting instead of stories about the killer. We should be hearing about their lives and from the people who loved them. All of these individuals have a right to be known to everyone in the world, while their killer should languish in anonymity and remain only known to law enforcement officers who need to investigate this crime.

We should also hear much more about someone like Greg Zinis of Chicago, a retired carpenter who fashioned beautiful crosses for each of the Las Vegas shooting victims who died. Zinis drove all the way to Las Vegas to install these beautiful symbols of love, each personalized with the name of a victim. Zinis proves that goodness and generosity are alive and well, and that people like him are why we should continue to believe in the best of humanity.

There is no reason to make killers like this one into a household name and his face recognizable the world over. They do not deserve the spotlight they crave and no one should be giving it to them. Unfortunately, as long as ratings come before common sense and decency, this pattern will continue.

Let us focus on the faces of each of dead. They are all such beautiful faces filled with a glow showing their vivacity, and the fact that they were cut down like this is an outrage. We cannot disrespect those who lost their lives by turning their killer into a poster boy for recruiting more unhinged people who seek similar infamy through horrific actions.

We can all send a message to the media by voting with our remote controls and our clicks. I will not support anything or anyone who continues to put killers like the one in Vegas in a spotlight. If enough people join me in boycotting irresponsible media outlets we could really affect change because the only thing the media understands is their ratings, and it is time to hit them where it hurts the most.





About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His books 'A Death in Prague' (2002), 'Move' (2003), 'The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories' (2005), and 'Like a Passing Shadow' (2009) are available in print, online, and as e-books. 'Heartbeat and Other Poems,' 'If the Fates Allow: New York Christmas Stories,' 'Garden of Ghosts,' and 'Flashes in the Pan' are available exclusively on Amazon. His newest books 'The Stranger from the Sea' and 'Love in the Time of the Coronavirus' are available as e-books and in print. After winning the National Arts Club Award for Poetry while attending Queens College, he concentrated on writing mostly fiction and non-fiction prose until the recent publication of his new book of poetry, 'Heartbeat and Other Poems' (now available on Amazon). He has worked as a faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with 'Blogcritics Magazine' since July 2005 and has written many articles on a variety of topics; previously co-head sports editor, he now is a Culture and Society and Flash Ficition editor. Having traveled extensively, Victor has visited six continents and intends to get to Antarctica someday where he figures a few ideas for new stories await him.

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