I was just reading through tweets made by the school shooter over the past few weeks, and also tweets from the victim who was killed. The shooter, 14 years old, seemed to tweet things that you’d hear millions of other early-teenage boys talking about. A girl he likes doesn’t like him back, he sometimes feels alone, he’s mad at the world, etc. I remember saying a few of those same things when I was his age.
Then I read the last tweet from the girl who was killed, and it was sent out less than an hour before she was killed. According to interviews with students, they believe she was targeted because she recently turned the boy down.
The shooting took place on the 24th of this month at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, located in Washington State. Two students were killed, including the shooter, and 4 other students were injured, two critically.
It breaks my heart to see something like this happen. It’s such a difficult thing for us to even try and being to process.
After an event like this, we always look for answers as to why such a horrible crime took place. We ask and we look all over, though we never really find an answer to please everyone.
He Used Guns In The Past, This Must Be A Reason
The media was quick to post photos of the shooter with various rifles, as he seemed to have been an avid hunter. These photos are meant to invoke fear and try to provide a reason as to why this tragedy occurred. If the media shows the shooter holding firearms in recent photos, he must have been more prone to violence than a kid who doesn’t have these types of photos, right?. Sadly, many believe this.
Below is a photo that has been widely distributed by the media to show the shooter with a big scary gun. They make note of this specifically in their articles. I am posting this as an example, and have blurred out the shooter’s face.
How many other kids could be classified as a potential future mass shooter if they have photos like this? Millions. But it’s simply not the case.
Take the amount of kids in the US who grow up around guns, and then compare that number to the amount of kids who go on shooting sprees. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but you get my point.
It’s the same as comparing the total number of legal gun owners in the country with the total number of legal gun owners in the country who commit a crime with their gun. For this statistic, we have a number for Florida. It’s likely the same across the country.
The real question to me is a simple and quite obvious one: How was the idea put inside this young man’s head to go into his school and start shooting fellow classmates with a gun? It was most certainly not all of his own creation, and it most certainly is not the fault of the gun.
The Major Contributing Problem Is Right In Front Of Us
Do you know where I’m taking this article? It’s the fault of the media. It’s the fault of the media and their relentless coverage of these shootings until they’re ingrained in the minds of everyone in the country, whether they were directly affected by the event or not. It’s the 10,000 times we hear a shooter’s name, and it’s the 10,000 times that we see their faces.
As of this writing, performing a Google search of the shooter’s name brings up 1.8 Million results. And as far as news articles go, the tally is currently at 48,700. That’s right, nearly 50,000 news articles have published the shooter’s name. Multiply those numbers by the number of times the articles have been read, and you arrive at a mind-boggling number of people who now know the shooter’s name.
Photo of Megan Silberberger, the teacher responsible for ending the school shooting.
Now, move to the other side of the spectrum and do a Google search for the name of the young woman who successfully stopped the shooting, Megan Silberberger. Her name shows up in Google a total of just 30,000 times, and shows up in just 1,800 news articles online.
The media should be ashamed of themselves.
There is no need or use for anyone to be reminded of the shooter’s names, and there is no reason or use for anyone to remember what they look like.
This is what fuels them. Many of these school shooters are almost glorified in the news, and wind up being known by millions of people after their violent acts. Some even become household names for years to come. It’s disgusting.
The media has given these people a way to become immortal. They give these people a way to be remembered, even if it’s for a horrible reason.
Can’t you see that they win? The media is letting them win over and over again.
Erase The Name And Face
Concealed Nation never publishes the names of these perpetrators, simply because this information is irrelevant. They are known to us as “The Shooter”. It’s the only thing that needs to be known in order to write the article and report on the incident. They will get no glorification or inclusion from us. Ever.
Marysville police declined to release the shooter’s identity, with Chief Rick Smith insisting he did not want to “dramatize someone who perpetuated a violent crime in a place where children should feel safe.”
Chief Rick Smith, you my friend are right on target. Read that quote above a few more times and realize that, if people did this across the board, the shooters would no longer hold the power after they’re gone.
The media should focus on the people who were killed and injured. The media should focus on their families, friends and community, and show what everyone is doing to help them during the most difficult moments of their lives.
The media should share links to crowd-funding campaigns that are so often started after tragedies like this so that people can donate. They should spread photos and stories of the victims to honor their memories. They should be decent human beings.
The number one focus right now should be the victims and their families.
14-year-old Shaylee Chuckulnaskit
14-year-old Gia Soriano
14-year-old Nate Hatch
15-year-old Andrew Fryberg
The media should not bring up gun control, and I’m not even saying that because I’m pro-gun. I’m saying that because it’s simply not the issue. It is simply … not the issue. There are other factors at play with this case, just like all the others.
We now know that the handgun used in this school shooting was legally registered to the shooter’s father. By all accounts, the shooter was known as a non-violent person. There are quotes in the media from his classmates that are to the effect of, “I would have never expected this from him, he was such a nice guy.”
Blame The Parents For Not Locking Up Their Firearms
Going off of the information above, it would be safe to assume that the father would have had no inclination to hide his firearms from his son. After all, they’ve gone hunting together and have likely gone to the range together. His son had likely fired the same handgun used in the shooting on multiple occasions before. He was never a violent person, by all accounts read so far. Sure, he had some angry tweets, but the truth is that many early-teenagers go through similar phases. Who hasn’t been heart-broken as a teenager? Their world comes to a brief end with no hope in site. It’s a part of life.
The vast majority of teenagers who have access to guns will never use them to harm another human being. That is, unless their lives or their families lives are in danger. We see articles on a regular basis that show young people, fluent in firearm use and safety, using them for good. Just last week, we reported on an incident (link) where a 15-year-old successfully stopped the bad guy who broke into his home.
Anytime a mass shooting occurs, you have to factor in a level of mental illness. Why is this not the main focus after these events, and why do we continue to push for gun control measures when we should be focusing on mental health reform? No amount of gun control would have made the shooter’s father lock up his firearm. He was never given a reason to because his son was never seen as a threat.
But as we all know, he was a threat. How could this have ever been determined before the shooting occurred? I’m not sure that question has an answer, but what I do know is that this case, like all other mass shootings, are the exception and not the norm.
Take the Newtown school shooting as another example of a mental health issue. The shooter in that case had quite a long history of mental illness, with some of it being diagnosed and treated (although the shooter stopped taking his medications). However, his mother would take him to the range often to shoot. His mother also locked up her firearms in a safe, but the shooter was still able to gain access to them and use them for evil.
It’s not a gun problem, folks. It’s a mental health issue and it’s a media issue. These occurrences are so complex as to why they happened, and none of them will likely ever be fully understood. However, if both the mental health issue and the media issue were addressed as much as gun control is, this country would be in a much better place.