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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Real Gun Problem

The media today has debates over whether we should have stricter gun control laws or even a ban on all automatic weapons. Both sides of the debate argue that the more guns we have, the more mass shootings that are going to occur. The problems with these debates are that they ignore minorities, overlook gun death casualties or blame it on the gun. However, the issue with gun control shouldn’t even be about guns; it should be about the media. The problem is that the media sensationalizes these mass shootings to the point that it inspires other crazy lone wolves. While we’re obsessed with guns and their danger to our lives, we’ve been looking at mass shootings in the wrong light, as the guns aren’t the problem. The problem lies in the media that covers the shootings. For example, people assume that Columbine High School Massacre was a mass shooting, driven by two loners who had a political agenda. However, one of the students who witnessed the shootings, John Savage, told in an interview that both Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were boys who were anomalies to the school. The news also tells us that these two boys were part of the Trench Coat Mafia, but John Savage, an actual member of the group, stated that this group played board games and video games. They didn’t plan or do anything dangerous that was going to hurt lives.
When people looked into this issue of Dylan and Eric, they found out that one of the gunmen was on meds that caused psychotic behavior. They concluded that these two men were loners and they weren’t even part of the Trench Coat Mafia. These “facts” were fictitious stories conjured by the media to get views. It isn’t just the issue of distorting the truth that is bad, but the sensationalization aspect that inspires other people to shoot more people. In a video of Alternate History Hub, Cody, who usually does a form of alternate history on a historical event in our society, discusses an issue with guns that we don’t often think about.
Cody mentions a disclaimer in the video that the video is not monetized. He doesn’t state an opinion relating to gun laws but states that there’s a pattern relating to media and guns. Cody mentions that journalism is a business and that if a newspaper or a television outlet doesn’t get any views, then companies will not put their ads on the station. Whenever someone puts an ad in the newspaper or media outlet, they are charged a lot of money; that’s how newspaper outlets make their money. Now, with the internet, no one really looks to the news for weather or local headlines of their towns. Instead, the media has to cover sensational news or make up controversial debates. 
There are times where nothing is going on, and the news outlets use fillers. When a mass shooting occurs, it provides the media for something to do. Shooting provides a where, who, why, and how. The media will often go into detail about not only the incident of the shooting, but also the shooter, their habits, the weapons used, etc. This gives the media something to do, and the news coverage gains a lot of views. This doesn’t have to be with just a mass shooting; it often happens with terrorist attacks or anything that has threatened people’s lives.
Basically, this sensationalism inspires other people to commit the same acts. The media coverage of the shooting is repetitive to the point that the media looks as if they made a movie out of the shooting. This indirectly glorifies the shooter, and many crazy people who see this on the news would probably feel that carrying out a mass shooting would garner them fame and attention. People often think that there aren’t any crazy people who would do this, but Cody states that if you look on 4Chan or any other meme websites, you’ll see a pattern. The main point is that we can’t trust the media when it comes to the coverage of mass shootings. They cover it so that they can get views and money. The only thing we can do is stop tuning into these sensationalized events and evaluate whether this incident is something to be scared of. After all, many mass shooters want us to hide in fear.
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