If you think mass shootings are the new normal, you’d be wrong; they’re the old normal revisited
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
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
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
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.
Is the gun weather changing? Going from ‘flying off the shelves’ to mostly cloudy?
Bob Rogers is the Editor and Publisher of GunPro Plus, America’s premier daily digital gun news portal. After a successful 20-year career as the Editor for a major magazine in the gun industry, Bob launched GunPro Plus to bring his industry expertise on gun news into the digital realm.
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