In response to last week’s shooting at a Florida high school, the state’s governor recently released his plans to make schools safer. Many of his proposals will indisputably serve to further turn schools into prisons, a trend that has been on the rise for years.
“Journalists are humans, not story-pursuing robots salivating for the death of young kids.”
Journalists on social media pushed back on Friday against NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch’s claim that the news media “loves” mass shootings because they deliver ratings boosts.
This rhetoric is dangerous, and continues the assault on journalists in an effort to paint them as subhuman. Of the thousands of people I know, including hundreds of journalists, I know zero (ZERO) people subhuman enough to “love mass shootings” https://t.co/wBo8y5DPYz
— Ryan Famuliner (@RyanFamuliner) February 23, 2018
“Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it,” Loesch said Thursday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), addressing reporters in the back of the room. “Now I’m not saying that you love the tragedy. But I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media.”
Loesch’s comments echoed those made in a video released this week by the NRA, in which gun rights activist Colion Noir argued, “If there’s one organization in this country that has a vested interest in the perpetuation of mass tragedy, it’s the mainstream media.”
The former Blaze host doubled-down on her comments in a Friday morning interview on CNN with Alisyn Camerota, who told her, “You’re wrong on every single level,” and argued against her claim that shootings provide a ratings boost for news programs.
“Americans have reached saturation level,” said Camerota. “They’re so sick of it and it’s so heartbreaking that they actually often turn away.”
Alisyn Camerota to NRA spokeswoman: “You think we love mass shootings? … It’s just malicious, actually, that you would say that. I don’t know anybody in the media who likes mass shootings… We pray that there’s never another one.” https://t.co/qzE1DxoncO https://t.co/a0QY03VTYU
— CNN (@CNN) February 23, 2018
Many in the news media have pushed to refine how news stations cover mass shootings, urging journalists to focus less on the perpetrators of attacks. Much of the ongoing coverage of the shooting in Parkland, Florida last week has focused on efforts by survivors to achieve gun control legislation in order to prevent more shootings—a push that is strongly opposed by the NRA.
On social media, many reporters reminded Loesch and her supporters that journalists are members of their communities whose families are put at as much risk as any other American household by the prevalence of military-style semi-automatic firearms like the AR-15.
This an unequivocally horrifying thing to say. Journalists are humans, not story-pursuing robots salivating for the death of young kids. We don’t “love mass shootings.” Many of us have kids of our own. I’m floored by this. https://t.co/HmDU6G4NhG
— Sam Stein (@samstein) February 22, 2018
This is a disgusting insult to journalists everywhere. NOBODY loves mass shootings. We cry and grieve and fear for our kids just like anyone else. And guess what? Our families are victims of tragedies, too. Do people believe this garbage??? https://t.co/DHNKA5gLRm
— Melissa Luck ☘ (@MelissaKXLY4) February 22, 2018
Others pointed to the emotional toll covering repeated mass killings—typically with little to no action by legislators in the wake of such attacks, to curb shootings—can take on journalists.
The idea that mainstream media loves mass shootings is idiotic & insulting. I covered the VA Tech shootings & was totally unprepared emotionally. Spent nights in hotel room crying after interviewing family & friends of victims. Still affects me. https://t.co/jRwqg6jaFu
— Kevin Manahan (@KevinCManahan) February 23, 2018
Dana Loesch’s comments are so disingenuous and gross. If you really believe journalists enjoy covering mass shootings, especially those involving innocent children and teens, you should hang out at any newsroom and try to do our job for just a day.https://t.co/cCx4OPxXeF
— Andrea González-Ramírez (@andreagonram) February 22, 2018
As Catherine Woodiwiss wrote at Sojourners last July, reporters’ prolonged exposure to violent and traumatic events including shootings can correspond with high levels of distress:
In 2014, a study of “frequent and prolonged exposure to deeply disturbing images” published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine found that the frequency with which a journalist watches violent content correlates with the journalist’s likelihood of having anxiety, depression, PTSD, or alcoholism.
The Radio Television Digital News Association also released a statement about the NRA’s new talking point.
“We are your neighbors. Your friends. We attend the same houses of worship. We go the same classes at the gym. Our children are in the same classes at school…We are deeply affected by tragedy. We are journalists and we do what we do because you have a need to know and understand the world around you.”
“The time to act is now.”
As families continue to grieve and hold funerals for the 17 victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla., students and educators are calling for a nationwide day of action including school walkouts to protest lawmakers’ deadly inaction on gun control legislation.
The day set for the actions is April 20, which will be the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School. Continue reading
The president’s 2019 budget would cut allocations to enhance national database system by 16 percent
As a Florida community reels from the nation’s latest mass shooting—the 18th school shooting in the first 45 days of 2018—President Donald Trump is pushing for a new federal budget that would call for cuts to programs that aim to keep guns out of the hands of people with criminal records.
The National Criminal Records History Improvement Program and the NICS Act Record Improvement Program provide funding to states to improve their reporting of domestic violence and other violent crimes in order to include perpetrators in the national background check database for gun purchases. Continue reading
“Consider that Shaver might well be alive if only the Mesa police department had long ago adopted reforms of the sort that Black Lives Matter suggests.”
Black Lives Matter activists were among those who used social media on Friday and Saturday to call attention to the case of Daniel Shaver, a 26-year-old man who was shot to death by a police officer in Mesa, Arizona in January 2016.
A disturbing, graphic video of the shooting was released shortly after the officer who killed Shaver, who was white, was acquitted of second-degree murder.
The video shows Shaver following the officer’s instructions to crawl toward him and begging him not to shoot. Continue reading
“If this bill becomes law, the body count of innocent victims killed by concealed carry permit holders will only rise.”
Gun control advocates denounced a House vote on Wednesday approving major legislation which would allow gun owners to carry licensed concealed weapons across state laws—effectively voiding gun control laws that prohibit hidden firearms in certain states.
The House passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 in a 231-198 vote. The Los Angeles Times editorial board wrote that the law is “clearly aimed at undermining gun control efforts nationally,” while the National Rifle Association (NRA) called the measure its “highest legislative priority” for the year. Continue reading
Conservative commentator tells newspaper, “We’re coming for you”
The National Rifle Association (NRA) drew attention this weekend after its newest ad went viral.
The New York Times was the focus of the video, which was released weeks after an ad that showed images of protesters and left-leaning cities including New York and Chicago, as the narrator warned viewers against liberal indoctrination by public school system, the news media, and other institutions.
Both videos have featured conservative talk radio hots Dana Loesch. In the most recent video, Loesch wages an attack on the Times, implying that the paper’s reporting does not reflect the views of most Americans. Continue reading
Every once in a while we run across things that give us hope. This is one of those things. The following comes from States United To Prevent Gun Violence, an organization that uses a new approach to an old problem. The rest speaks for itself.
States United To Prevent Gun Violence opens a “gun store” in NYC as a hidden camera social experiment to debunk safety myths. Every gun has a history. Let’s not repeat it. From their website gunswithhistory.com:
Back in March, we wrote about Marissa Alexander, the Jacksonville, Florida woman who had been sentenced to twenty years in prison for three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after firing her gun into the ceiling to stop her abusive estranged husband.
She had used the same “stand your ground” defense that George Zimmerman had used in his trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin, and the same prosecuting attorney was involved; State Attorney Angela Corey. However, unlike Zimmerman, who was found not guilty after killing Martin, Marissa was found guilty and sentenced to three concurrent twenty year sentences (in 13 minutes, none the less) for firing a gun into a ceiling under Florida’s mandatory minimum guidelines. The other differences? Zimmerman is white and a male, while Marissa is black and a woman. Continue reading