It’s not about gun control, it’s about ratings.

Every once in awhile, I am shocked to find out that certain players in vacuous Tinsel Town actually have a clue about the racket in which they make their living.  And, once in awhile, they actually tell the viewing public a thing or two that they should consider well when opening up the hype box know as TV.  So it was that the young actor on “2 1/2 Men” uttered the truth about what is now a show about almost nothing.  And so it is with the statement below (allegedly attributed to Morgan Freeman) .

I would like to scream this and much more from the mountain tops every time there is a tragic event.  Why do we care so much about the 25 or so people killed at the school and nothing about the unknown 100+ victims of car accidents in the US today?  It’s because it is much easier to beat a drum and sensationalize a story and make an event out of one than the other.  Why is it that we don’t report on the staggering loss of about 1000 lives every day because of medical errors?  Why is it that we don’t scream about the thousands of lives snuffed out every day by an abortion clinic, or all the physical pain and shame that follows down the road for the would-be mothers who made such a choice?  It is because none of those is on our agenda.  None of them gives us a large and pathetic enough stage on which to trumpet our outrage and righteous indignation.

There is a far greater epidemic of senseless killing that goes on every day on the streets of Chicago.  Nobody ever talks about it.  Is it because violence in poor black and Hispanic communities is considered normal?   Is it because that’s the city and thus it’s so far removed from suburban life as to be unable to have an affect on our lives?  Is it because white children are just so much more cute and precious?  Is is because it’s more tragic to snuff out the life of a six-year-old than the life off a sixteen-year-old?  The solution offered to Chicago was to pass gun bans.  But, the killing has escalated.  Obviously, something else is the answer.  “Reverend” Jesse Jackson tells us it’s because the people are poor and hopeless.  But, many people are poor and hopeless and don’t shoot people.  Many people think it’s just the drug dealers killing each other.  That may be mostly true, but they kill a lot of innocent people in the process.  (Maybe, if Mr. Jackson is concerned about the lack of opportunity for young black people, he would have actually created education programs that worked with the money that he embezzled from his worthless P.U.S.H programs.)  Education would be a huge step toward stopping the violence, if only kids could safely get one.  Hundreds, somethings thousands, die in these tragedies every year.  Yet no one notices.  In the meantime, one nut gets all the headlines.  Yes, he killed two dozen people, and that is tragic.  But every life lost to violence is tragic.  In the end, guns don’t kill people.  People kill people.   In the end, people die from all sorts of tragedies–cars, guns, drug reactions, construction accidents, football accidents, electrocutions, house fires.  Why is one tragedy worse than another?  Why aren’t we screaming to outlaw cars, electricity, houses and sports?

Mr. Freeman, I don’t know if you really said this, but, if you did,  I applaud you for spelling this out like it is.

“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.”

1 Comment

Filed under On Family, Health, Environment and Ethics

One response to “It’s not about gun control, it’s about ratings.

  1. I just reread this blog, and I noticed something telling about myself. I did not know the names of either the theater shooter or the school shooter. To me, it’s as irrelevant as whether or not Beonce lip-synced for the president. I wasn’t there, so I wasn’t affected. But, it seems that a lot of people have a sick fascination with every sordid detail. Perhaps this is the greatest part about not having TV. I spend my time on my own business, not someone else’s. I get my news from credible sources that report NEWS, not the results of the latest ambulance chase. And I have more time to read big, exhaustive books that explain the whole mountain, vs. “news” shows that whack a pebble off the mountain and “examine every side of” the pebble before pronouncing the story covered.

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