LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Less media attention on shooters would reduce crime

In the wake of the latest shooting tragedy, many people are still asking “why?”. There are commercials with many famous actors stating that something must be done about gun control. No more talking about it or figuring out what makes sense — their message is that something must be done right now.

Like what? You can’t just try to take everyone’s guns away with laws because we know that any person with ill intent can get a gun illegally — and fairly easily. It happens every day. So by now we must know that gun control laws only really affect the law-abiding citizens and this does not help the situation. Gun control is not the answer, even though many people cannot grasp that idea.

Another possible solution that people like to talk about is the importance of mental health awareness and the potential to avoid these tragedies by getting individuals the help they need before something happens. This is a great idea, but I don’t think it would be able to slow down these attacks as we cannot guarantee 100 percent effectiveness since it is sometimes difficult to identify the individuals who need help as well as what type of help is needed. In addition, the cost of such a program would be an issue as well.

I feel that the reasons for these attacks — and the solution — are very simple.

One of the many things that has eroded in our society over the past decades is the integrity of the media. These shooters are after one thing — attention — and it is disappointing to see how easily the media outlets give it to them.

This unfortunately includes our DSN which featured an article that included a biography and picture of the shooter (“Survivor: Gunman spared student to take package to police”).

The public does not need his name. We do not need a picture of him. This is exactly what these people want. I guarantee that there are other deranged individuals out there reading these articles and thinking that this is a great way to get that coveted national attention. The shooter even mentioned that his perspective was that the more people you can kill, the more coverage you will get. Sadly, he is right — and other people contemplating a similar act know this as well. Look at the attention and the aftermath of the South Carolina attack. That guy is famous now.

The media just can’t resist plastering these stories on the front page to get the cheap and easy story. This obviously encourages other shooters. Imagine if the media never mentioned the name or anything else about the shooter.

In my opinion, this would greatly reduce the motive for such acts. Instead, I feel that it would be much more beneficial to report the story and only focus on the victims. Give us the bio of each victim perhaps so that we can pray for them and their families. With the focus only on the victims, other potential shooters may not see any point to this nonsense.

In short, a bunch of Hollywood actors pleading for gun control won’t do anything to stop these attacks. If anything, it encourages them because these shooters see that if they kill a bunch of people they can even get the attention of the president and Hollywood. What we need is a national media with the integrity to do what is right and report stories in a manner that will improve our society instead of just selling papers.

Josh Judy

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