Tom is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, single father, and long time resident of Oak Creek, who writes regularly about human interaction and perception as it relates to social issues, value fulfillment, and introspection. Tom encourages and challenges the reader to engage new perspectives; believing that through open and honest evaluation of all sides of a debate, conflicting parties can communicate with greater efficacy and more productive outcomes.
In follow-up to my blog yesterday, there are a few more things to consider when it comes to shouldering the responsibility for tragedies like the one that happened in Connecticut.
So many dreams were lost. What would they have become in life? What difference would they have made for others? I can tell you already that they have made a difference, certainly in me. Hopefully they have made a difference in many others as well.
Sadly, not to all, though.
In addition to improving the recognition, treatment and perceptions of mental health, as well as reevaluating the parameters of gun control is the level of integrity in how the media chooses to conduct itself during and immediately following these events.
We have a mainstream media in our country that whether by intention or pure ignorance chooses to glorify these situations. The hours following the horrible events in Newtown were full of stations broadcasting misinformation, sharing inappropriate pictures and asking horribly insensitive and stupid questions to witnesses and the families of victims.
We know it will happen again. There are ways to mitigate the frequency and magnitude of instances, but it will happen again.
For those with intent, the infamy that the media affords those who kill is a catalyst for the next one who wants to exhaust his delusional ideas.
Stop with the statistics and rankings. Stop giving the sick or deranged a “goal” to reach. Stop filling their heads with the sights and sounds and romance of their ugly fantasies to come.
Those who need this information for research can look it up. It doesn’t need to be blasted all over the screen in fancy charts and the replay video of terrified people past.
Stop flooding the television with the perpetrators’ pictures. It motivates insensitive “weenies” like this to make his picture giant-sized, write an entire blog about the shooter that contains generalizations and misinformation; and, talk about how “lucky” all of us are while never once mentioning outrage over those lost until the very last six words of his entire commentary. I can’t decide if seeing that blog was more shameful or disgusting. At the least it was irresponsible and nauseating.
(I realize by proxy of my blog I’m giving this idiot attention, but the example of what is wrong needs to be cited so that it stops. Call me hopeful.)
We crave information, but it does us no good unless we use it to effect change. So far, an irresponsible media has flooded us with information for years, but nothing has changed. We have failed. We have failed every dream that has been lost to violence like this.
We can’t continue to fail those who have become victims. We would not want them to fail us if we no longer had a voice to be heard.