Wall Street Journal on Mass Shootings


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jeffmack
June 13, 2014, 05:00 PM
Here is a very good article from the Wall Street Journal talking about the psychology behind mass shooters, and how a change in how the shootings are reported could reduce the number of mass shootings.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303309504579181702252120052

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OptimusPrime
June 13, 2014, 05:48 PM
It is mostly a good article and it does cover a very rational point of view, mostly. There is a line in there about "widespread availability of weapons and high-capacity magazines geared for offense and not defense", but the rest of the article actually begs the media to stop publicizing the killer's private grievances.

The lead caption says it best: To stop the spectacle of mass killings, we need to keep them from being spectacles.

However this article was written last November; so what traction has it gained in media since then? The folks on this forum have long pointed out this same issue that public knowledge is fueling copycats.

jeffmack
June 13, 2014, 07:01 PM
Rather than citing people from this message board, though, you can now cite scientists who describe how criminal mass shooters feed off of irresponsible reporting.

Also, I think it makes more sense to start dwelling on the "irresponsible reporting" aspect than on the "cops in our schools" solution suggested by groups like the NRA. I'm not incredibly excited about teaching children that an armed police state is the solution to all our problems.

MTMilitiaman
June 13, 2014, 07:30 PM
I've been saying that if the media as a whole was as responsible with their First Amendment rights as gun owners are, as a whole, with their Second Amendment rights, there would be no mass shootings.

The people who commit these types of shootings are pathetic, insecure losers looking for their 15 minutes of fame. They want a higher body count, hence the reason they target "gun free zones," and other target rich environments where people are likely to be unwilling or unable to fight back. And why do they want these high body counts? What good with it do them if no one ever learned their names? Well, the higher the body count, the more media attention they get. Even if they aren't alive to appreciate it, knowing that they are going to be plastered all over ever TV and computer monitor in the country is obviously enough for these guys to kill, and die, for.

If the shooter's name and photo was never published... If the media reporting was less sensational and more responsible...

barnbwt
June 13, 2014, 08:59 PM
The lead caption says it best: To stop the spectacle of mass killings, we need to keep them from being spectacles.


What's stupid about all this, is most of them aren't even spectacles; they are almost completely parlayed into major events by the reporting media. I'm sorry, a double murder is not national news, and yet, every time it is outside a domicile it is reported as a mass shooting. A classmate of mine and his sister were murdered by a jealous ex just off campus in an apartment; were that across the street in a Texas A&M food court, it'd be the massacre of the decade. It was a terrible outrage, but ultimately of a limited scale and scope, and needed no action beyond ensuring the murderer would be put to justice and the grief-stricken comforted. The exaggerative reporting has gotten to the point that I'd forgotten the threshold for mass-shooting is four victim fatalities; I'd bet a poll of these stories would show the words "mass shooting" and "Newtown" spike at 3 casualites, fatal or no, and including the shooter (so long as it is outside a home or ghetto).

Anyone remember how the Empire State Building murder (I refuse to call it a "shooting" due to the new-found connotation with mass-murder) was reported as an active shooting, when it was a single guy, with a single personal beef, with a single other victim, whom he killed, and them left the scene with intent to escape? But because it was broad daylight outdoors, we were supposed to think it was a terrorist act. The panicked cops were a larger demonstrable risk to the general public than the murderer ever was (hence they shot/grazed/spalled 8 of them)

The people who commit these types of shootings are pathetic, insecure losers looking for their 15 minutes of fame.
Do you really think an Autistic shut-in man-child like the Newtown shooter was capable of such an extroverted motive? It's plain he was sought to destroy his mother and everything he thought she valued once he learned she was to have him committed. These crimes are hard to predict precisely because they are very diverse in cause, though similar in effect. Most of these guys are losers as a direct symptom of their having severe problems in their thought processes which preclude them having normal/successful interactions with others.

Gun free zones are typically put into place as a misguided attempt to safeguard precious/vulnerable human life; these killers are out to inflict as much pain on 'whomever' as possible, so they will seek out places with that which we hold most dear. Schools/malls would probably be targeted whether guards, CCWs, or barbed wire are there to deter them or not.

TCB

bergmen
June 13, 2014, 09:22 PM
I posted the exact same position in this thread:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=754003

Post #11.

In my personal view, the spotlight needs to be squarely focused on the media reporting.

JMHO

Dan

Trent
June 13, 2014, 10:27 PM
In the last week or two the media has "blitzed" the public with a dozen or more "major shooting incidents" which involved between 1 and 3 people.

A few years ago an entire family near us was butchered with a damn HATCHET - father, mother, three children. Sole survivor was an infant which was in critical condition and had to be life flighted. Perpetrator was caught, convicted of murder, and will be eating taxpayer funded food the rest of his natural life (as IL did away with the death penalty); costing us a million bucks or so for pampering him over the next 40+ years.

NOT ONE major national news outlet covered the story. Coverage was limited to local papers and regional news outlets only, and really didn't get outside the midwest.

A family of 6 was butchered with a hatchet here and nothing; Yet a guy picks up a gun and shoots ONE person somewhere out on the Left Coast makes every major news headline last week?

What the hell is the difference?

The gun.

That's the difference.

Make no mistake the mass media is being bought and paid for by SOMEONE to run these stories every day. People have been shot in this country pretty much every day of every year for the last 50 years for every conceivable "reason" one could think of, ranging from passion to revenge - this isn't news.

They're making the gun the news.

Not the violence.

barnbwt
June 14, 2014, 12:25 AM
What the hell is the difference?
What's not being reported?

(Iraq is falling like Saigon and we're quietly filling concentration camps with cross-border migrants)

That is the difference. Trent, I don't suppose that terrible attack occurred during a recent national political campaign season, did it?

TCB

Tirod
June 14, 2014, 09:01 AM
The unintended consequence of the media appearing to be the propaganda outlet of the Administration is that the public will go elsewhere to get it's news. And is. The Brand national media outlets are struggling and upstarts are popping up everywhere, for every reasoned editorial with gravitas there are a dozen blogs who ask better questions and deliver pertinent answers.

The news industry is going down the tubes just the same way Chrysler and GM collapsed - they are failing to take into account the public's taste and arrogantly assume whatever they dish out is exactly what the consumer needs. Add in their own surveys that determine their overall political slant is extremist in the least, it's a huge case of denial on their part.

The public can't see it well, but those outlets who just tell it the most factual way it is get labeled as unreliable or slanted by their competitors. Make no mistake, the news is a business with a product to sell - if they can't attract viewers, they don't sell airtime for commercials at a profit.

Profit, Profit, Profit. Follow the money. Extremist news articles about guns mean more viewers means more profit. It is a lot less an agenda as much as US creating the situation - simply put, a horrific hatchet murder just isn't interesting to the public as a mass shooting. The media is playing up to the consumer's interest.

Cue up Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry."

Vern Humphrey
June 14, 2014, 02:12 PM
The message is clear and well supported by solid science. Mass killers can't be deterred by "locking up the crazies." We need to stop giving them the publicity they crave.

Trent
June 14, 2014, 05:28 PM
What's not being reported?

(Iraq is falling like Saigon and we're quietly filling concentration camps with cross-border migrants)

That is the difference. Trent, I don't suppose that terrible attack occurred during a recent national political campaign season, did it?

TCB

Actually no, happened September 2009. And I mis-remembered; the family was murdered with a tire iron, not a hatchet. Not that it makes much difference. Search for Beason IL homicides and you should find plenty of articles out there about it, but none from major media outlets.

(This is also about the same time I ramped up training my children how to shoot; that fall saw all of my kids at the range on multiple occasions teaching them how to shoot handguns and light rifles.)

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