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Old 06-12-2019, 10:58 AM
SenorBeef is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 28,271
Mass shootings are a tiny fraction of gun violence. They're rare and sensational and capture our attention and so they get a very disproportionate amount of our reaction to gun violence, but as a percentage of gun violence, as a percentage of murders, as a percentage of deaths, they're basically just insignificant and random noise. Almost 350m people live in this country - you can find all sorts of shit that occasionally kills 10 or 20 of them. There's also basically no way to specifically target mass shooters with gun laws - they tend to be relatively unpredictable and can use a wide variety of weaponry, whatever is available.

Nonetheless, if you want to target mass shootings specifically, there is a very targeted, specific solution that would likely reduce them significantly: stop giving the shooters the infamy they crave.

Usually, mass shooters feel like they've been wronged by the world in some way, and overlooked. The mass shooting is often their way of making the world notice them, to take revenge on the world. When we choose to watch excessive news coverage of these incidents, we're giving them exactly what they want - which means that the next shooter that wants to go out in a blaze of infamy knows what they'll get.

Whenever there's a mass shooting, we know for the next month at least that the shooter will get a significant share of all media coverage, public discourse, and basically public attention. The media will tell us all about them, read their manifesto if there is one, speculate on whether what music they listened to or what they watched made them do it, and basically cover that person from all angles. Which is exactly what they want - to be noticed, to be important, to shock people, to get revenge on the world. You feed and encourage mass shooters by giving this to them.

The absolute best solution to mass shooters is to get over it. To not focus on it. To not give them the infamy they crave. To not say their name on news broadcasts, to not read their manifesto, to not have psychologists on the air going over their lives with a fine tooth comb, to not give them the infamy they crave. Other countries with more responsible media already do this, and not coincidentally, places that have widespread access to guns but a responsible media (like Canada) do not have a significant mass shooter problem.

But we're not willing to do that. We love the salacious news. We love to be a part of the process of trying to figure out where they went wrong. We want every gorey detail. We love that shit. And so the media will continue to cater to us and give us what we want, and in the process give the shooter the infamy they want, and show the next potential shooter they'll get the infamy they want and encourage them to take that leap.

We also love using these incidents to tell those guilty, evil gun owners what monsters they are because this is all their fault. The rest of the world gets to talk about how dumb Americans are. Anti-gun Americans get to talk about how dumb and evil gun owners are. I'm sure on some level you actually feel shock and outrage, but you also love the excuse to be smug and insult the people you hate every time these things happen, too.

There's basically no law that can target mass shooters specifically, but we absolutely have an effective tool for stopping these shootings. But we won't do it. Because you love the salaciousness of it, and the chance to preach and be smug and blame over. Because you're willing to watch the excessive news coverage, participate in discussions about it, and give the infamy the shooter craved every single time.