The role of the media in mass shootings

Can you name the 17 victims in the Parkland shooting off the top of your head? What about five victims? Can you name just one? It took sifting through three pages of shooter profiles and political articles before we were able to find an article about the students and faculty that lost their lives that day.

The media often overlooks these tragic deaths as they race to dig up and publish facts about the shooter. It makes sense that the public would want to inquire about the person behind these attacks, but unfortunately this coverage has made the perpetrators into glorified heroes.

Through a domino effect, this coverage increases the chances of a similar event occurring. Individuals see the national attention the shooters are getting, and it spurs an adrenaline rush to copycat these killers. Since the Columbine shooting in 1999, many other perpetrators have accredited their actions to the inspiration that those young men sparked. It has almost become a game and the shooters now seek this twisted “fame” while simultaneously trying to one-up the previous shooters.

Another thing that the media has reverted to is using these deaths as a political bargaining chip. Instead of stopping to honor the lives of these people, many use these events to argue for or against gun control.

We the Threefold would like to stop and take a second to honor those who lost their lives in the Parkland shooting. Among the fallen were Scott Beigel and Aaron Feis, a geography teacher and a football coach. Both men died heroes, shielding their students from the gunshots. Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsay and Nicholas Dworet were all seniors on their way to various colleges when their future was cut short. Gina Montalto was a member of the winter guard on the school’s marching band, and Cara Loughran was a 14-year-old girl who participated in an Irish dance program. We honor these people and the other students including: Alyssa Alhadeff, Martin Duque Anguiano, Jaime Guttenberg, Chris Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Joaquin Oliver, Alaina Petty, Alex Schachter, Carmen Schentrup and Peter Wang.

Our hearts go out to  the victims’ families as they try to understand the incomprehensible. We the Threefold pray that more shooters will not follow this tragic event with violence and malice.