An Idea to Decrease Shootings/Mass Murders

By Ian Shimizu, Reporter

With the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, by a former student, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, it really seems like every week the United States is struck with another tragic headline: “__ dead in __ shooting.” More innocent people dying prematurely, scarring their families lives for years to come. More “emotional” tweets from our President. More people yearning for stricter gun laws. More people grieving yet not trying to offer solutions.

When it comes down to it, there is essentially nothing we can do as average American citizens to completely eliminate these horrific killings.  It’s just not going to happen. No matter how many gun restrictions, enraged left wingers,  armed officers, behavior reports, we just won’t halt everything. But on the contrary, I think there is a major issue on our hands that could be erased rather simply.

This alarming issue is not mental illnesses or suspicious gun purchases. The underlying issue that I think everyone is overlooking is fairly simple: media coverage.

Everyone looks up to someone. Maybe a celebrity, a parent, a cool uncle, a teacher or an older sibling. But those who we might not consider “stable” are also people, so naturally they also have someone that they look up to. It is a proven psychological fact that people are intrigued by violence. This thriving fundamental drive paired with a mentally unstable person never ends well.  Their minds idolize the names of infamous perpetrators, hoping to one day recreate the events and go down in history as a notorious murderer.

So what is the solution? To not release any details about the shooter. None. Not his name, not what he was wearing, not his motive, not the weapons he used, nothing.

According to ABC News,  at least 17 attacks and another 36 alleged plots or serious threats since the 1999 assault on Columbine High School have been tied to the massacre, with many calling the shooters their role models. Among those inspired was Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old who carried out the second deadliest school shooting in American history, surpassing the death toll of the original event itself. Keep in mind, this is just Columbine alone, and many other cases could have easily been missed.

The names Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold will forever be imprinted in the history books. The more people that lost their lives, the more likely that the incident and, more particularly , the perpetrator will be remembered.

To be brutally honest, the shooters are remembered more than the victims. Although degrading, that’s just how it is. Giving extensive media coverage to shooters will only increase one of America’s biggest problems.

Before Columbine, few mass murders were recorded. In 2018, mass murders are becoming a routine. We as Americans need to quit being lackadaisical and do something, and here’s my two cents on the issue.