Broaching the subject of guns in the U.S.
That’s right, I don’t take it easy on Sunday, do I?
My past life included data analysis. I can look at numbers and spin them to make them say what I want them to say. With that in mind, when I see an article about numbers and shootings in the U.S. I always take it with a grain of salt and find that one key fact, or fact the article reveals that they really didn’t want to say but had to in order to be legit.
What you do is surround that one fact with everything you want the reader to see, or bury it so far down the article that the reader has left by then with the opinion you wish for them to have. For this article, good information and articles to read are actually at the end.
First of all, we all know shootings and killings happen in the U.S. and with the media coverage, we know it happens daily. Even our president addresses the subject at times. After the recent shooting in Oregon at a local community college, the president called for more gun control. This after over the past weekend there were 50 shootings in his home city of Chicago without a word being spoken by the president. That according to information provided by Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee in a recent interview on CNN. I’m just pointing out how information and numbers are USED for a purpose. Killings are killings no matter the location or number or by whom. No matter the spinning, the killings happened.
Looking at an article by the Washington post from this year, although it is written to influence readers of the evils of guns, or so it seems in this writer’s opinion and that opinion may be in error, the data given shows the number of owners of gun owners, according to a poll, is decreasing and the number of Active Shooter Incidents has been decreasing since 2010.
That says to me that in the overall, the U.S. is on the way to where it needs to be. So why so many shootings? For one, it’s easier to report these days than it was at one point, at least on a national level. We see it more easily in the media and thus it must be reported to the F.B.I. from which most data for analysis is culled from.
You all know I have issues with media on this subject. A mass shooting happens and the U.S. media coverage becomes a feeding frenzy. It is almost sickens me how they almost seem to thrive on reporting this information. At times the initial information reported is not accurate, but instead of waiting for confirmed details, some news outlets want to beat their opponents to the news punch first. This initial report is at times all the casual news and media consumer pays attention to.
The percentage of assault deaths has been decreasing over the past 40 years as well. But with such a large country, large population, free reign of the media without government interference, everything is show in all the gory details. Well the details we’re given.
So why an increase in mass shootings? That’s what people want to know and what I’ve been asked, although not exactly that way.
There are a few things you can look at and all are opinion. Why opinion? Because if it were the fact that gun owner numbers are increasing, the information in the article doesn’t support that. So we have to look at what is making it happen. I think all of these things work together to give the answer.
- Mental instability, not always mental illness. In order to go out and perform a mass killing by shooting you have to have something wrong with you. I don’t care if you pass psychological tests for sanity, that doesn’t mean you are mentally stable. There is something twisted to make you want to do that.
- Media attention is given to mass killings. If you do a mass killing and you have the problems in #1 then you are likely seeking attention and want to either become a 15 minute celebrity or a dead note statistic to always be on some list forever.
There are likely other reasons, but those are the two I seem to always think of. Mental instability encompasses so many things. I think I need to clarify what I mean I say mental instability. I also include those who are unduly influenced by life situations to do stupid and despicable things.
What influences these “things”? Well that would be a matter of opinion unless each and every individual involved were truthful during a psychiatric evaluation and knew for themselves why the did what they did. But that’s not going to happen. But let’s look at what might be those things that are not life/mental scarring/altering situations but are still mental influencing things.
- Relationship breakups
- Feelings of being an outcast and rejection
- Economic situations giving one a feeling of nothing left to lose
- Anger at political environment/situations
And of course more. But these are what I thought of in this moment. A more recent Washington Post article talks of how there has been a more mass killings than there have been days in this calendar year so far in the U.S.
Here’s the thing about reporting, and I hate to say it because it upsets me that it happens on both sides of the line. The articles lean one way or the other with data spun to support what the writer wants to convey. I know. I was a data spinner. Being a data spinner doesn’t mean a liar, it means you take the truth, report it, but you don’t emphasize the parts you don’t want focused on.
Also according to an article in USA Today titled Behind the Bloodshed, 53% of the occurrences are family killings. Although mass killings in the media always seem to be involving shootings, the truth is stabbings, strangulation, blunt objects, and even house fires account for them as well.
An article by livescience.com titled Why America Is Prone to Mass Shootings states that even though violent crimes are down, the mass shootings are on the rise.
“Especially some of the younger ones — they want attention,” said Mary Muscari, a forensic nurse at Binghamton University in New York who has studied revenge-driven mass killers. “That’s why you see them wanting to have a bigger head count, a bigger body count, to try to outdo the last one or to do something that is going to cause more of a rise.”–livescience.com
In an article on qz.com by Corinne Purtill titled It’s time to change the way the media cover mass shootings, numerous references and links are provided to research about the copy-cat syndrome being real. The final paragraphs are very revealing. Also the study in Vienna, Austria after the great number of suicides in their subway system and what the government did, are very interesting and telling. I encourage you to read the article.
So why so many mass killings in the U.S.? Is because the number of gun owners has increased? Apparently not since that number is supposedly decreasing. So what is it? Is it the because the number of gun related incidents are on the increase? Again, that number is on the decrease, with only the mass shootings on the rise.
That makes me believe it’s not the number of guns in the country, it’s those certain people who own them and their stability of mind with some seeking attention/fame/celebrity.
What do I think should happen? That is one huge article I could write and perhaps I should, not that it would influence any decision making people. People are going to kill if they want to kill no matter what they have to use. I think maybe I will write that other article, just to get it out of my head and system.
Ronovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.
© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2015