Fred Francis, Jane Hall and Howard Kurtz examine the media's fascination with the accused Colorado theater shooter.
Becky you have been a great encourager and coach to me to get sratted with social media. The social media world is a scary world for some of us, but you have made it much easier to get sratted and there is no better day than today to get sratted.
I understand the media's obligation to inform the public. First, mental illness or disturbance doesn't happen over night. If Info one noticed, they weren't paying attention. Second, guns don't kill people. People kill people. If this person didn't use a gun, he clearly had other choices. Third, he should not be given anymore attention. He should be removed from the public and treated and incarcerated and never allowed to interact with the public again.
Howard, your comments on this subject indicate that even those think of themselves as well informed are missing important aspects of a problem. There are at least four parts to this story.1. Guns 2. Aberrant behavior 3. How these two things interact 4. How to prevent these horrible tragedies. Guns has been addressed and debated but no agreement can be reached on this and on prevention until people understand the behavior and it's interaction with guns. The public understands this need to know all this. Talk to the relatives of mass murderers and you'll find many who have known "something was wrong" and either tried to get help or were overwhelmed with confusion and did nothing. This issue is complicated since it is difficult to sort through all the medical, behavioral and legal issues involved. Your labeling of this guy as a sociopath is a good example of someone who is well- meaning making a diagnosis that does nothing to prevent the next tragedy. It just leaves us feeling hopeless and helpless. Reporters should be talking to "real" experts in behavioral and mental health issues and keep pretenders off the air. What to do about this particular case is a small question since the damage has been done but a discussion leading to prevention is what's needed. I agree that sensationalizing this story could lead to copy-cat killers. So I suggest the discussion take place with little if any mention of the particular individuals involved.
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