Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Less media coverage, fewer bullets

I originally posted this as a comment on another blog. It has been suggested, however, that perhaps it should be posted as a separate blog of its own.
The single most common trigger for these horrible acts is the perception in the mind of the perpetrator that great notoriety will follow. They are making a statement. They feel downgraded in some way and want to be acknowledged. Often the target is less significant than the act itself,and spectacular media coverage is guaranteed.

The media feasts on these acts, and truth be told, the public demands all the minutiae it can get. Digital information even eclipses printed or televised reporting, and is almost instantly available, so the public can almost instantly gorge on sensational details or reports.

The more these tragedies occur, the more they will occur, because wide spread notoriety is evidence that this is a guarantee of attention. Fifteen minutes of infamy is an irrestible spotlight to a damaged mind which can not imagine a better way to be acknowleged.

Gun control won't and can't solve the problem, What it might do, however, is place, a limit on how many rapid fire shots a shooter can get off before being stopped. Rapid fire weapons like an AK47 for example can discharge thirty or more bullets in a few seconds thus possibily striking thirty or more potential targets. It's small comfort indeed, but if even one life can be saved as a result of fewer bullets being fired, it's a start.

If we knew for sure which target will be next and which individual will be a culprit, we might be able to act to prevent these atrocities. Who will step forward and reveal such information? How do we make every conceivable target secure? How do we accurately identify the actual person who will carry out the deed?

It is the needle in a haystack problem.

Less coverage and fewer bullets, then, might possibly hold down the casualties, but something far more comprehensive will be necessary to prevent these horrible acts.

1 comment:

Ed Blair, Payson said...

Nobel, I just wrote a similar thought to another blog. My brother, a prof at Texas Tech, has the same theory that the media gives too much coverage to the deranged killers. We know that from the shooting in Tucson ... I got real tired by seeing Jared's picture.