Saturday, November 3, 2018

Enough, already

this occurred to me months ago when the first school shootings happened, and I keep thinking of it, every time another mall, or drive in, or church is attacked:  less publicity means less copycat crimes.

Years ago if a child committed suicide, one of the things the local papers did, was play it down.  sometimes not even mention cause of death for several days.  It was a policy among news people that suicides and out of control killers  would go unrecorded for a certain length of time, to keep other people from thinking,  "hey, I could do that too". 

I just get this image of  gun soaked Angry Men watching the videos, and the news, and the flashing lights and sirens and thinking, "oh wow. That is so cool...I'm gonna get me some ammo..."

It isn't news, it's pandering.  It's drawing readers, but since anyone, anywhere, can read this stuff online, you now get the news from all over the country, where before it was mostly local and brief. 

Too much information, and too many vulnerable people reading about it.


  1. A few years back, Obama said he wanted to make every shooter famous to raise awareness. I worried then. And now, the copycat effect has scientific explanations. The Economist did a great article on it, I'll have to find it.

  2. I think awareness is a two edged sword, and in his way Obama was right, the awareness of evil, while not detrimental, serves to keep people careful, and cautious. It also depends on the evil, and why it happened.

    But the other side of that coin is the fame aspect for the shooter, and the way one teen suicide can touch off so many other kids teetering on the edge of suicide themselves.

    My own non-scientific explanation is that we are herd animals, and we crave recognition. Stand on any street corner and look up, and sooner or later half a dozen people will be right there with you, looking up too. most of them will see what they think you see.

    Every hostess's nightmare is the Guest Who Leaves Early. It's one thing to slip out the back way quietly, it's another to announce that you're leaving, "the sitter, you know", wave goodbye and hug everyone...within 15 minutes the hostess is left with an uneaten dinner and no guests.

    I think that's part of the whole copycat thing, and it takes an ugly form when guns are involved, and a President insists that people wouldn't have been killed if they had been armed.


    If you can find a link to that, post it here, hell, post it anywhere.

  3. Addendum: what has come out of the publicizing of shooters and their ilk, is a true awareness of just how messed up their heads actually are. So many of them are the ones who fell through the cracks in highschool, ignored, bullied, or depressed. They went into hiding inside themselves and since they didn't cause trouble they were mostly ignored.
    The ones who acted out were ignored, or expelled, or left. No one could see where a kid this messed up might go, they were just glad he left.

    And I look at the faces of these kids and I keep thinking, I went to SCHOOL with kids like this. I wonder, if guns and pills had been that available then, what would have happened.