I have to say, along with everyone else who has read/seen/heard about this tragic story out of Connecticut, that I was deeply saddened thinking about the families of those lost. While perusing Facebook, I came across this picture of Morgan Freeman with the following statement.
(12.18.2012 Edit: Turns out, “you can’t believe everything you read on the internet” – George Washington. Apparently Morgan Freeman did not say the following statement. But regardless of who said it, I feel that it reigns true. So I’m going to leave the post the way it was originally and update it without Morgan Freeman’s picture. Here’s to all of the poor souls who lost their lives too early. Who were sent away from this world before their time. Their families and friends are in everyone’s thoughts and prayers. More than they’ll ever know. The country mourns over the loss of these innocent children and passionate educators.)
“You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.
It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.
CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.
You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”
I think this might be some of the most inspirational advice about the whole tragic fiasco. Learn the name of one of the victims.