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All this media attention on killers and terrorists is merely giving food to the monster that doth mock the hand that feeds it.

Shooting Stars – The Media Promotes Terrorism and Obama Stokes Gun Sales

I wish I did not have to write this – again – but after yet another mass shooting, this time in San Bernardino, California, the media and President Barack Obama continue to get it wrong. It saddens me to have to point out this salient yet alarming fact – they have learned nothing from what has gone before.

t4For example, while CNN will give us a story focusing on the 14 shooting victims (as it most definitely should), more widespread coverage is given to the perpetrators of the attack, going in depth to describe who they were and to analyze why they did what they did. Quite frankly that information should be left to investigators – we don’t need to see pictures of killers on front pages or on TV and certainly don’t need to know their life stories.

All this media attention on killers and terrorists is merely giving food to the monster that doth mock the hand that feeds it. Killers and terrorists know two things: one is that they can plan to inflict massive casualties and probably end up dead themselves, but two is the carrot on the stick – the media will make certain that whatever abhorrent acts they did will live on and they will be in the spotlight. This only encourages them and others like them – to strike again and again.

t3As for Mr. Obama, I understand he is in a no-win situation. Something like the attack in Paris or this shooting in California happens and he is expected to react; unfortunately, it is how he reacts that not only shapes the ensuing conversation but also stokes the fires of passion in those who want to do us harm. Every terrorist knows that if he or she does engage in an act to cause mass casualties, the POTUS will have to talk about it – where else but in the media. Talk about your instant fifteen minutes of fame!

I was clicking around the stations the other night, and some pro-gun guy was talking and said that Obama is the best salesman for guns. I sort of thought he was joking, but a little research proves this guy right – every time there is a mass shooting and Mr. Obama speaks, people go out and buy more guns. While I would imagine Mr. Obama recognizes this sad correlation between his reactions to gun violence and the sales of guns, that does not seem to affect the responses he gives.

The truth is that there are more guns in the U.S. than there are people, and the the record sale of guns on this past Black Friday shows there is no possibility of reversing this unless something changes, but will that ever happen?

t2If you are thinking “gun control” and Congress, you had better tuck yourself in for a long winter’s nap and forget about it. Just yesterday the Senate (ostensibly the GOP senators) blocked a proposal to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists. What Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who proposed the amendment, called a “no brainer” obviously was anything but. You would think that even if senators on both sides of the aisle never agree on anything they would agree on that – wrong!

So here we are standing at what would seem to be the most dangerous time in recent history. The world is poised for war in the Middle East, and on the homefront we are aware that another attack could be coming. With the recent shooters in California having a connection with the terrorist group ISIS, it is not perhaps it will happen here because it has already occurred.

t1I don’t expect that the media is going to change its pattern of publicizing terrorists and killers – this is inherent in their drive to not just report the so-called news but more to gain ratings. The truth is that I have long suspected that journalistic integrity has dissipated, but watching what is called a “News Alert” or “Breaking News” is so disingenuous at this point that I quickly change stations only to find more of the same. ‘Tis a muddle indeed – and a despicable one at that.

As for Mr. Obama, all signs are that he is going to continue on the same path, saying the same things about guns. The Republicans in Congress will continue doing what they do about the matter, and any true discourse on guns and violence in America will never be possible. If we cannot trust the media and the people we elect to higher office, then our country is in the most dismal state in its history.

There are two things we can all count on – another terrorist act and another mass shooting is only a matter of time. The media and Mr. Obama know this yet continue doing what they do, and the Congress is ineffectual, so the American public is basically on its own. Isn’t that a warm and fuzzy feeling for us all as we move into the holiday season?

 

Photo credits: Seth Weingap (NY Daily News), CNN, FOXnews.com

 

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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. His latest 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. 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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3 comments

  1. Dr Joseph S Maresca

    Groupthink is an acknowledged problem in organizational dynamics. In this case, public identification of the perpetrators has the benefit of eliciting further tips from the public, as well as, random pictures from passersby spectators of the event. The downside is drawing in copycat perpetrators of crimes and feeding the faulty psychological belief systems which they harbor-sometimes for many years or even a lifetime.

    There is no perfect answer because each terror event has participants with widely disparate motivations, cross-cultural complexities and significant goal incongruencies. That’s why there are street cameras increasingly in London and other foreign capitals. In addition, the topic of gun control has ignited in response to the need to protect society.

    Gun licensing, registration, a national registry and control over the sale of bullets are all part of the mix. The government could consider a higher tax on munition sales in order to pay for the security infrastructure around the purchase, sale and use of guns whether for hunting, private security, public security or any other lawful purpose.

  2. As a follow-up to this article (and proof of what I am saying) on the evening of December 8, 2015, CNN ran an hour-long program about John Lennon’s killer. I am saddened and sickened by this spotlight on a murderer. Why not run a program about John’s life? This just encourages people who want their 15 minutes of fame (in this case 60 minutes).