Don’t Blame Me: the gun acted alone, it was a lone gun, man.
One of the most frequently reported types of news story is that of the shooter. We’re drawn to these stories, and the news channels just keep pumping them out, adding fuel to the gun violence fire. People have been killing one another since before we knew what death meant — long before the 1300s when someone decided to use an explosive powder to hurl a projectile at a target. For some reason, whenever there is a case in the news about a shooting death, it’s the gun that gets the blame. In this episode of Flash Past, Danny and Lyle discuss gun laws, 24-hour news, death, and fame. Have a listen.
Whenever we hear about an instance of violence, gun or no, many of us want to investigate and try to find out what happened; what went wrong; and how can we keep it from happening again. In recent news there was a young man with an unfortunate name who killed several people at a church in South Carolina; another story taken from the news tells about a man who killed four Marines at a Navy facility in Tennessee. It seems like we have more and more of these occurrences to talk about. Well, that’s because we do.
Since the 1970s, there has been a steady increase in the frequency of mass public shootings. In the late 70s, we went for nearly two years at a time between these killing sprees. Nowadays, we have nearly five per year on average.
During the show, Lyle rattles off several names from Bill Gates to Paris Hilton and Adam Lanza. He then asks Danny what all of the people have in common, to which Danny replies “They’re all high-school dropouts.” He was wrong. What they all have in common is that they’re all famous for one reason or another. That list included more mass shooters than just Lanza. So, is fame — or rather infamy — the reason people kill? The way the news outlets sensationalize these stories does make it easy for one to make a name for oneself.
With the frequency of these shootings on the rise, of course it stands to reason that there is more gun violence in general, correct? Wrong. Check out this information from the U.S. Department of Justice:
So, what is the issue? Our hosts propose that maybe people are to blame for gun violence. It’s crazy, but it just may be true. Maybe blaming guns is easy. By blaming an inanimate object that can’t speak on its own defence, we are able to put our worries to rest without ever looking at ourselves to find the real problem.