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Bring On the Clowns

If you think mass shootings are the new normal, you’d be wrong; they’re the old normal revisited

Steve Comus

The media circus over mass shootings continues to nurture a not-so-subtle and burgeoning mass hysteria that easily can result in lemming-like over-the-edge overreactions that, in turn, could split an already fractured society right down the middle.

Mass shootings are categorically unacceptable. But they are not eliminated by mass hysteria. In fact, they are emboldened, even fueled, by such mass hysteria fanned by the one-sided, irresponsible mass and social media.

This entire discussion was reignited recently when The New York Times published a frontpage piece entitled “Inside A Deadly American Summer,” details of which were refuted quickly in an article in the Washington Examiner by Brad Polumbo.

The long and the short of it is that mass shootings are happening at about the same rate as they have for decades and that mass shootings account for about one percent of all homicides. Or, it is roughly twice as likely to win the lottery as it is to be a victim of a school shooting. Those details don’t make for sensationalistic prose, so the media hit the subject from other angles that strike fear into readers/viewers/listeners who don’t know the difference. In the Information Age, most people actually are less informed because they cannot process TMI (Too Much Information).

What has been happening is that in the same way the media are overreporting on mass shootings at places like schools and shopping centers, they are underreporting on persistent shootings in places like Chicago and other cities where more Americans are shot than on the battlefields of the Middle East.

The reasons for such disparity in reporting are many, but the overriding impetus is based in social stigma. It is much more inflammatory to focus on shootings that occur in general society than it is to focus on shootings that happen in ghettos. The high crime rates in Chicago and other big cities are not found in the more affluent parts of those towns.

It is the knee-jerk quest for the “quick fix” that drives much of the misplaced attention. The real answers to the mass murder phenomenon are both complicated and difficult. It is much easier to call for gun confiscation than to do the right things and address the root problems, which are an amalgam of social shortcomings ranging from inadequate and ineffective handling of mental illness to social demographic imbalances.

Real solutions can begin with the reinstatement of the family unit as the basic social subdivision. That alone can do more than all of the proposed confiscatory laws combined. But it is not easy to tackle the hard challenges and it takes time. Society didn’t get into the situation it is in on most fronts overnight and effective solutions won’t happen in the next news cycle or two.

Don’t expect the media to change their spots, either. In fact, expect them to double-down on all fronts in the arms arena because the fundamental changes in the media that were nurtured a half-century ago have metastasized to the point of no return.

The original concept of the media (press at that time) being the Fourth Estate – a term coined to recognize power and influence even though it is not technically a part of the formal government – is dead. The other three estates, for those who care, were clergy, nobility and commoners.

The original concept was that the press (media) was to serve as a watchdog over the government (including other estates). To do so properly, the media need to be neutral in that they should not take sides, but rather report the facts and let the populace decide.

For practical purposes, that ended long ago. But until the 1960s (maybe even into the early ‘70s), there were still enough independent media that unbiased coverage happened.

During that decade or so, however, the concept of “advocacy journalism” took a sharp left turn and, more often than not, aligned with political leftists and liberal causes. At first, it was fairly benign in that one point of view was merely covered more than the others.

But as the country has become more polarized, the media has become more and more a lapdog of the left, which editorially ranges from merely being anti-gun to being in locked step with the confiscationists.

The reason there is no common ground between the gun culture and many in government and their media lackeys is fundamental. One side reveres individualism, strict and defined mores and laws honoring the constitution that reflect those concepts, while the other side worships collectivism, moral equivalency and decadent permissiveness.

As the media methodically and continually has looked the other way for decades, society has replaced basic morality with permissive legal chicanery in concert with a perversion of the public education system that has devolved it from institutions of learning to a network of propaganda machines and mind-control mills.

It should come as no surprise, then, when data are deliberately misstated and spun in ways that often lead the consumer of the media propaganda to conclusions that are exactly opposite from fact. We’re talking about intellectual atrocities that go far beyond mere “fake news.”

Aided by the speed and intrusiveness of modern technology, there is a full-on attack against individuality, freedom of expression and personal rights. The real impetus is toward people control via mind control.

In this tug-of-war, there is no intellectual middle ground. Indeed, there can be none because the divide is at the deepest levels where two polar opposite precepts collide.

Look for the media to continue to trigger mass hysteria as part of their contribution to the “greater good” of the collective at the expense of the individual.

This country was founded on the principles of freedom and individuality, which are safeguarded in the constitution. As those principles are eroded, so too is the relevance of the constitution to everyday life.

Literally, both the structure and nature of this society are being subverted. The media’s antisocial actions like triggering mass hysteria merely reflect that truth.

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