If Only it Were True

In the aftermath of the Colorado shootings, the President, and Mitt Romney both spoke eloquently about the tragic and deliberate act of violence.  The President also went to visit with the families, and he said something idealistic about how we will remember the victims not the murderer.  This is a proper goal, but it is certainly not what currently happens.   For perhaps voyeuristic reasons, the media concentrates all too often on the murderer in reporting on these types of incidents.  There could probably be bipartisan agreement on the goal of the President’s statement.  Rather than politicians wasting time talking about guns and gun control in this terrible story’s aftermath, they could work on ways to discourage any opportunity for fame that this act can create for the killer.

“Out of this darkness a brighter day is going to come,” President Obama said. “Although the perpetrator of this evil act has received a lot of attention over the last couple of days that attention will fade away.  And in the end, after he has felt the full force of our justice system, what will be remembered are the good people who were impacted by this tragedy.”  This is a wonderful sentiment, but it is simply not true.  How many victims do we know stories about from the Oklahoma City bombing?  What, on the other hand, do we know about the perpetrator of that crime?  We found out about his politics, how he was able to combine the explosives, followed through the trial, and his execution.  There are some rare exceptions, such as Todd Beamer and a handful of others on 9/11.  Unless the person murdered, however, is already famous we hear very little about them.  The focus of media attention is almost always on the murderer.

The goal should be to discourage attention paid to these people as if they are important.  Encourage going back to the times when we only saw them on their public execution day.  Perhaps if there was little hope of becoming a celebrity there would be less interest in committing one of these horrifying acts.  Even if this does not deter future acts of violence, it is a public good to shun attention to these perpetrators.  Most of these acts are violations of state law, but there could be a federal role.  Why not pass a law that would require a special broadcast on PBS with stories exclusively about the victims culminating in the public broadcast of the execution.  Conservatives may sign on to this, since Public Broadcasting keeps avoiding the budget axe.  States that don’t have the death penalty should be encouraged to do so.  A speedy trial, quick appeal, and a quick execution would all help as well.

The President had a good goal in mind when he spoke in Colorado.  It is a shame that we glorify these killers by covering every aspect of their lives, while almost ignoring the people we should care about.  The media is free to cover what they want, but there can be a higher goal set for them to follow.  Make some worthwhile use of the public broadcasting airwaves.  Set the example of what is important to remember from these incidents, and who we should ignore.

Author Bio:

Michael has been an editor and contributor at the website www.freemarketsfreepeople.net for over 2 years. He has over 20+ years of diverse business experience, from running complex operations where he managed hundreds of people, to starting and running small businesses such as www.realinterestfund.com. He is blessed, or perhaps cursed, with a logical mind which he uses to analyze government, media, politics, and culture. He believes that his life experiences help him bring a unique perspective to the issues of the day.
  • venter

    The shooter has his face in the papers.  I agree lets hear about the people who are missed by all  their loved ones, Their potentials only known by the  lord above.   N.Y.C  Mayor “Boomberg” was out talking about guns immediately after the shootings.        Millions of millons of hunters have guns .They are not killing others….Assault weapons need to be addressed especially illegal ones along with the people who are selling them.   The shooter mental state was ignored.  How did that happen?     

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cecilio-Méndez-Romero/100001373306737 Cecilio Méndez-Romero

    In the author’s bio is the clue to answer many of his posted questions: “Why do the media (does or does not) do this or that.” The MSM is acting (now? forever?) like the whores at the Green River murder spree.  They knew they were doing something dangerous.  They knew there was a dangerous man stalking them.  They saw how many “colleagues” went missing.  Still they came out, worked the streets and provided every opportunity to the murderer.  Too many politicians act like whores… and the MSM has learned from the best.  It behooves to the reader (an voters as well) be smart and selective.  Too many whores fishing for “johns” out there. 

  • jujubeebee

    This is true.  I heard both Obama and Romney speeches.  Obama’s was more contrived or not really coming from the heart whereas Romney’s was more heart felt and religious in nature.   It was a stark contrast in my opinion………..a speech worded perfectly by Obama but lacking in religious content seemed a bit fake to me…….like a speech made to seem appealing whereas Romney’s seemed more heart felt.   Obama can visit and put on a show like he is good at but there will be this feeling down in our gut……..call it intuition……but the impression will always be there.   There is just this intangible thing when we know when something feels real.

  • http://disciplesnet.org/ Rev Russ Smith

    All too sadly true.  There’s already threats coming from a copycat.  What else drives that other than the hope for their face on camera?