Focus on the victims

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By Alex Kerravala, Staff Writer

After the tragic events of the shooting in Las Vegas, leaving at least 59 dead and over 500 injured, it wasn’t long before popular news outlooks brought up the shooter.

Immediately after the events, outlets like NBC News and Washington Post brought up the killer, who he was, how old, his friends and family, etc. Almost instantly, there were articles and videos which included where he lived, quotes from his friends and families, locations he frequently visits, as well as other locations he researched. And those that did not focus on the shooter brought the politics of gun control and terrorism into it, rather than focusing on the vicitims.

One of the popular theories regarding these mass shootings is that they are a vessel for a disturbed individual looking for notoriety to find the fame they are seeking. A horrifying theory, no doubt, but one that clearly makes sense, especially with the rise of attacks.

Based on this popular theory, it baffles me that popular news outlets would talk about this heinous man on live TV or in published papers. Where some can say they are merely trying to “inform,” I would argue they are, intentionally or not, making a celebrity out of him. You can’t look up “Vegas Shooter” on Google and go without seeing his name and face plastered everywhere.

The worst thing we could be doing is sending the wrong idea to similarly deranged individuals. They’ll start to believe “I can be famous for something big, too.” They get inspired by events like this, especially when the news outlets never stop talking about monsters like the Vegas Shooter.

Of course, the only time we get a break from news outlets giving a monster a place in history is, of course, when politics get involved. Not a day after the event, the topic of gun control was brought up once again. Bill O’Reilly said the shooting is “the price of freedom.” Not only with this shooting, but in prior attacks, the gun control debate took center stage, as if it is the only cause for these events.

My concern with these issues are roughly the same: Focus on the victims, for at least a day after the attacks. God forbid you keep politics out of tragedy for a day or two. Instantly, the lost are forgotten, the evil are remembered, and tragedy is used to push a political agenda. All I ask is, even for one day, the dead get their day to be remembered. The monster who commits such an atrocity should never be glorified, but if he absolutely needs to be talked about, it should be at least a day or two after. A political agenda can wait while the victims’ families pay their respects and pick up their pieces.

I’m not saying the debates are not necessary, that politics should never be mentioned after a shooting. All I’m saying is politicians and news outlets should at least wait a day, a day is all I ask, before pushing some kind of agenda.

Photo Courtesy: NBC News

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