Question of the Day: Why Do Mass Shootings Get So Much Attention?

(courtesy benandsiablogsh*t.com)

“One reason Americans are more inclined to panic over shootings or kidnappings these days is, perversely, that these incidents are so rare,” reason.com reasons. True that. Most firearms-related fatalities — thousands per year — are suicides. The majority of the rest are a relentless procession of gang bangers banging. But panic we do . . .

Whether it’s cause or effect, the mass media’s mass shooting coverage is qualitatively different from non-firearms-related death and disaster. There’s a tone of urgency you don’t get with a natural disaster or a non-firearm related terrorist attack like NYC’s recent truck-based murder. A sense that this shouldn’t have happened! And something must be done! One side screams for gun control, the other side checks to make sure that they have enough loaded magazines near their AR (and hugs their children).

What is it about mass shootings that give them such a grip on our attention?

comments

  1. avatar Cucamonga Jeff says:

    It’s the same thing with plane crashes. Rarely happens but when it does it leads. If it bleads it leads.

    1. avatar DUG says:

      With an aircraft disaster they at least bring out “talking heads” with some experience in the industry. Unfortunately, with gun incidents you get a long parade of politicians and anti-gun lobbyists who don’t know the first thing about guns or the laws that currently govern them.

      1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        Actually, CNN-NBC-ABC-CBS-FOX all pretty much see the anti-gun twits as talking-head experts, no matter these goofballs wouldn’t know a follower from a disconnector from a thing that goes up. This is because all the news rooms of that crowd want to push gun control.

      2. avatar NYC2AZ says:

        “With an aircraft disaster they at least bring out “talking heads” with some experience in the industry.”

        They used to do that… to a degree. Now, the “experts” they put in front of the camera are just as knowledgable about aviation as Kevin de Leon is about “ghost guns” and “clips”.

        Most aviation industry experts and investigators aren’t willing to speculate on interdementional black holes swallowing up a 767. When Colgan Air 3407 crashed near Buffalo in 2009, I saw CNN put some random Private Pilot from their news room on that made some pretty ridiculous claims (from a professional pilot standpoint) about what could have happened. My favorite was carburetor icing on an aircraft with turbine engines (which don’t have carburetors).

        Major news outlets are about filling up air time, pushing political agendas, and getting ratings. Actual facts and news come in a distant second.

        1. avatar barnbwt says:

          “And for a word from our sponsor; Flitz Carburetor De-Icer…”

        2. avatar Imayeti says:

          Then the cow says “it’s the carburetor.”
          And the farmer says “Pay no attention to the cow. Doesn’t know anything about cars!”

        3. avatar ironicatbest says:

          I didn’t know plane engines had carburetors. I thot they used fuel injection? Probably some use carburetors, but how to fly upside down when throwing shitbag out, “no not the wifee.”

        4. avatar Ruthless R says:

          Ironicat….
          wat U jus say ? Run a spell checker and a logic test on your comment !!

      3. avatar JustAnotherShooter says:

        Sometimes we are even treated to POLITICIANS who don’t even know the law… Hello Jeff Flake.

    2. avatar Jim says:

      “…If it bleeds, it leads…” is only half the expression. The sentence in its entirety is, “If it bleeds, it leads— especially if it meets our agenda.”

  2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “If it bleeds, it leads!”

    That is the mantra of “news” organizations. A mass murder event means a LOT of blood and therefore a LOT of attention.

    Also, such events are incredibly shocking in every possible meaning of the word. That also warrants a LOT of coverage.

    Finally, to Progressives, mass murder events are a golden opportunity to push their civilian disarmament agenda. Remember, Progressives operate on altruism, fantasy, and emotion — and assume that everyone else does as well. Mass murder events tug hard at all three characteristics, so Progressives run HARD with coverage of such events.

    1. avatar Brandan says:

      I agree. The anti-gun left sees an opportunity in people’s anxiety over these shootings and will exploit them. They know that polite society only cares so much about run-of-the-mill-murder, be it gang related in the inner city or domestic violence elsewhere. The gun control left knows there’s nothing to be done legislatively to solve “gun violence” in America’s inner cities. Mass shootings have afforded them a means of resuscitating the gun confiscation movement. Most people avoid stupid people in stupid places doing stupid things at stupid times and therefore don’t have to concern themselves too much about being murdered or assaulted.

      A mass shooting (despite being rare) comes with a sense of great dread because its so random. One could do everything right in life and be snuffed out.

      Such dread presents the politically motivated with an opportunity to peddle civilian disarmament as seemingly logically solution to a statistically minuscule problem. A soccer mom in the suburbs isn’t likely to get shot by a stray bullet from a gang drive by but she “could” get mowed down while attending church by some mouth breathing sociopath.

      1. avatar DaveR says:

        “I agree. The anti-gun left sees an opportunity in people’s anxiety over these shootings and will exploit them.”

        Yeah? What if the shooters are also ISIS terrorists? Pigeon-holing your bias, are you not also the kind of person who thinks that “the left” is also pro-Muslim? Seems like that would be quite a conundrum if indeed the media agenda was being driven by politics.

        Truth is, media is driven by advertising dollars and viewers love a train wreck. More views less news.

        1. avatar Brandan says:

          @Dave R, I don’t see how terrorism complicates my point, if anything it strengthens it. The anti-gun left focuses their animus on the tool and not the motive as to sidestep uncomfortable questions. Making violence a gun issue rather than one of ideology, mental illness or reciprocal violence associated with the drug trade allows them to pass the buck and avoid tackling militant Islam, a weak mental health system and the mammoth, and generational failings of the welfare state.

          This is nothing new. The Gun Control Act of 1968 was nothing but proposals repackaged from the response to the JFK assassination. Congress just dusted them off, played of people racial anxiety and rammed the law through. Gun control is simply a liberal Law and Order measure mixed with security theatre.

        2. avatar CC says:

          @ Dave r, if the shooter is an issis or AQ done or inspired terrorism, you can look forward very often to liberal politicians to proclaim, immediately, that it is not.

          Fort Hood for example. 140 contacts by Nidal with Al Qeada terrorists.

          Or if it a BLM supporter, like the Dallas shooting of 15 people, with the killing of five.

    2. avatar Gordon in MO says:

      Quote: Progressives operate on altruism, fantasy, and emotion end quote.

      I will agree that the progressive “useful fools” operate that way.
      I disagree that the leaders of the left operate so. They follow the Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals which are not based on altruism, fantasy and emotion. They are communists dedicated to destroying America and lead the progressive sheep to their slaughter.

  3. avatar Gene says:

    The same reason drive hold up traffic to gawk at an accident, morbid curiosity. The news media knows this and capitalizes on it to sell advertising. It’s self perpetuating because when one POS gets ‘fame’ for murdering and a high body count other POSs notice and want that notoriety for themselves. The worst possible thing is publishing their names and their images. nonotority.org

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      *Exactly*, Chip.

      They have an agenda, and they will use any means to push it…

  4. avatar former water walker says:

    Gee we had 2 of the worst mass slaughters in US history. Why WOULDN’T they be breathlessly covered?!? I agree when 9 are shot in Chiraq it barely gets a tweet. And here I thought black lives matter…😫

    1. avatar CC says:

      What was not covered was the fact that nothing the gun control lobby proposed would have stopped them.

      And Europe has had MUCH larger mass murders, principally without guns, showing when you remove or restrict guns they are no less common.

      Europe has had a guy murder 145 people with an airplane (germanwings), had recently a nurse who killed 100, and they think perhaps 200 people), and bigger than las vegas shooting murder done by a single person with a truck. Even with guns they had a murder of 70 people with a gun legal in Canada and still legal in half of europe (as well as NYC, and DC)

  5. avatar Icabod says:

    Meanwhile, there’s arguement about what a “mass shooting” is. The FBI counts four dead. The gun violence archive counts four people shot.
    Everytown for gun safety has claimed “200 school shootings since Sandy Hook.” A website examined each claim. As example a gang shooting. However, it was only close to a college campus. No students were involved. How about “a shootout between the suspect and the police in a campus parking lot was “just a coincidence.” Then there’s “A man shot another man over $5 owned in a dice game at 8:45 PM, long after the school was closed. This shooting had nothing at all to due with the school, the students, the faculty, or the staff. This was not a school shooting.
    This is how you pump up “mass shootings.”

    https://bearingarms.com/bob-o/2016/12/16/audit-everytowns-200-school-shootings-since-sandy-hook/

    1. avatar CC says:

      They dropped that four persons injured definition like a hot potato, when the data clearly showed:
      a) by that definition mass shootings have fallen 54% in 25 years, when most people think they are up
      b) over 80% of those mass shootings were gang or ongoing criminal enterprise related
      c) near 85% were committed by persons with five or more arrest (which is why the fell as incarceration rated increased, another message the gun control lobby does not want out in the wild)

  6. avatar ropingdown says:

    What are the networks going to do? Cover the day’s15 or 20 murders of young black men by other young black men? Show the neighborhoods? Interview residents? Repeat the reports in ever-greater detail for a week or two?

    It cant be done. The murders cumulate to quickly to enable the endless repetition with added video collages and new angles, with an audience hoping for ever more detail. There is no more detail of interest, other than the drug sold, the gangs involved. It would bore people to tears, and the black community leaders would call the practice racist.

    And, that process would do the left and the corporate rich no good. What they want to know, establish, bring to be, is certain knowledge that their financial and tax arrangements cannot be disturbed by common folk in even limited rebellion. The urban leaders want to know they can call for riots without non-rioters chasing the rioters away using rifles. The unions want to know their goons are the strongest power during a strike.

    The majority should ask why only inter-racial and non-black-on-black murders receive the intensive and repetitive coverage, and they should object. The ordinary person, though, can’t see the distortions, can’t do arithmetic. They seem to believe that 60 people killed in two incidents in a month is of more consequence that 350 people murdered one, two, or three at a time every month in St. Louis, New Orleans, Detroil, Baltimore, and Chicago.

    And needless to say, there is the Billionaire problem: They all come to think that nothing is more important than their own safety. I was floored by Sean Parker’s comment last week. After confessing that Facebook intentionally pursues the neurochemical-induced addiction of young people, and consumption of their time, Sean remarked “I’m going to live to be 160, and you’re not, because I have billions.” The arrogance is stunning. And of course he is anti SA rifles.

    1. avatar rt66paul says:

      Of course the media won’t go into those neighborhoods at night and interview the players, they would get shot. They MIGHT go to the black churches on Sunday morning and talk to the good people down there. They are NOT the problem.
      This is the same with LEOs in the inner city. They get there after it is all over, even if they are on the next block – they don’t want to get shot either. The term “No humans involved”, explains it all…….

    2. avatar ironicatbest says:

      It would be ironic if mister 160 was killed in a car wreck tomorrow.

    3. avatar Jean-Claude says:

      The media won’t cover the crime in black areas for a couple of reasons.

      First and foremost,they don’t cover it because the leftist media has a lot of time invested in portraying blacks as victims of systemic white racism. It’s not their fault, you see. Black people are forced to live in the ghetto because evil white people economically oppress them. If the media actually showed the absolute sociopathic dysfunction which is inner city America, the public might reject the propaganda they’ve been fed. Of course, cities with high black crime(which is any city in America with a black population of more than 10 percent) are invariably cities with Democrat city governments, and we all know the MSM are Democrat supporters across the board.

      Second, the media doesn’t want to pay much attention to Chicago because Chicago has the gun control laws the media dream of being enacted nationwide. The ONLY argument they bring up when someone questions why gun restrictions don’t work in Chicago is “The guns come from Indiana, where the laws are ‘lax’.”. But that doesn’t explain why Indiana doesn’t have that same level of crime in its cities(except for Gary, which is demographically similar to South Chicago.

      It is a shame the media refuse to pay attention to the absolute devastation happening in America’s cities. Every city in America has a section or neighborhood which is basically a no-go zone, and every one of those sections has one thing in common. Nobody ever says, “I wouldn’t go to that cracker trailer park after dark!”. No, the worst and most dangerous parts of every city in America are the black sections, or are sections which are primarily populated by black people.

      The media have been complicit in the absolute destruction of black culture, which has resulted in the destruction of the black family. LBJ started the ball rolling with The Great Society, and the entertainment industry has glorified crime and irresponsibility to such a degree it’s the norm.

  7. avatar Noishkel says:

    Why do mass shooters get so much attention? Ratings.

  8. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “Question of the Day: Why Do Mass Shootings Get So Much Attention?”

    1) They’re horrific events…
    2) They further the liberal agenda and narrative…

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      To my mind the interesting question which never gets much discussion is “what are the true motives unspoken in the narrative that has been constructed and peddled?” There are particular selfish fears that would have the 2nd amendment changed not because it would be beneficial to the entire national polity, but because it would ease their paranoia and assure those individuals’ societal dominance, and that of their heirs, for ever.

      I don’t begrudge such people earned success, if it didn’t involve ill means. I do begrudge them a peace of mind that can only be obtained by allowing their paranoia to trump the rights that have served the people well.

  9. avatar racer88 says:

    The Fallacy of Misleading Vividness.

  10. avatar Justin Case says:

    Bottom line is money.
    Let’s start by what you think the MSM is selling. They don’t sell news or programming, they sell advertising. Essentially, they sell US, the viewers to the advertisers. If a particular program has more of US viewing, the more they can get for selling OUR time. WE are the product being sold.

    The NFL may be beginning to catch on…

  11. avatar TXGunGal says:

    My comment is addressed to the author of the article
    Do you have a mouse in your pocket? Because I don’t panic. Is it sad? yeah .
    Would repeal of 2 nd Ammendment be effective? Nope, don’t think so since humans have been killing each other since human beings have been in this earth!
    Just a matter of what tool is chosen for murder

    1. avatar CC says:

      The Second amendment prevents way more murder that it causes. The peer reviewed work shows the lowest number of murders, rapes and other crimes prevented by gun ownership is 500,000 per year. the number runs up to 3 million. That number of crimes prevented is way way more than gun murders, or even murders injuries and any crime using a gun against someone

  12. avatar JustAnotherShooter says:

    My brother and I were discussing the Texas church shooting, and eventually I tried to compare coverage of the Texas church shooting to coverage of the Tennessee church shooting. He said, “What Tennessee church shooting?” I replied, “Funny”. He came back, “No… Really. What Tennessee church shooting?” He doesn’t watch the news like I do, but he does watch the news daily, and he had completely missed it. I told him what details I remembered, and suggested he look it up. Sadly, it is true. The media did largely ignore that shooting because only one died, and a good guy stopped it before it could really get tragic, and then went and got his gun.

  13. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    What is it about mass shootings that give them such a grip on our attention?

    We suspect mass shootings might be relevant to us, as suicides and gang-banging cost of doing business are not. Particularly, the folks who live in their padded fantasy world get reminded that violence they can’t control might, indeed, be relevant to them: the predators, thugs, crazies or terrorists might come calling, on them too.

    They hate the reminder that comes when reality-based people decide to tool up, even more than the hate the people who tool up.

    It’s frankly the same as their reaction to pregnancies and STDs. Affronted they are, that their little knockin-boots session has results, consequences, issue even, beyond the part they did it for.

    Life isn’t just hard (one presumes, occasionally), but also complicated. Double-entry (so to speak) bookkeeping is probably the simplest illustration of this that humans have come up with, and our fantasy-prone friends generally can’t even cope with that.

    Reality is what happens whether you wanted it to or not. Often, reality is that extra thing that happens, along with what you wanted. Our reality-challenged friends ever decline to wrap their brains around the fact that anything you do has a sheaf of effects, worse, that you usually don’t and sometimes can’t know all of them.

    Our reality-rejecting friends are in the end bugged that they aren’t god. In the end, mass shootings remind them of this, and it’s a bit of a shock.

    1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      Agree, additionally many want to live in that condition white zone forever. They just don’t want to think about it as it scares the dog snot out of them.

      People who carry are a uncomfortable reminder of that fear and a subtle unconscious reminder that they should have some personal responsibility, rather than the ‘All Good Nanny Government’ that takes care of them like children.

      God forbid someone defend themselves with a firearm. That really gets into their psyche and world view.

  14. avatar TwoJohnsonsAreBetterThanOne says:

    My answer is that there’s something apocalyptic when many people die at once.

  15. avatar Kendahl says:

    It’s too late now but, when Sandy Hook was current news, it would have been worth telling the Chattanooga Times that they needed a third pair of figures in the cartoon: an armed parent standing protectively in front of his or her child.

  16. avatar Excedrine says:

    “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.” — [Paraphrased from] Joseph Stalin

  17. avatar Anonymous says:

    Question of the Day: Why Do Mass Shootings Get So Much Attention?

    Two things. The liberal media likes money, and the liberal media doesn’t like guns.

  18. avatar ozzallos says:

    Because in this cartoon picture, you apparently can’t have both.

  19. avatar Aaron says:

    It’s all about control.

    Maybe instead of pushing for an “assault” weapons ban, Diane Feinstein should agitate for enforcement of existing laws, such as the law requiring the USAF to enter convictions for domestic violence into the FBI’s database.

    That would have prevented the gun sale in which the Texas church shooting atheist bought his “assault” rifle.

    But liberals are spring loaded to the “ban something” position, because they want to control the population.

  20. avatar John F Gurganus says:

    I agree. Because of the actual rarity, even more so than Great White attacks, news orgs try to milk EVERYTHING they can out of the incidents. Who cares if they destroy family members and friends who had no knowledge of the incident and nothing to do with it.

    I DO strongly believe if the shooters name was NOT divulged, there would be even less incidents of mass shootings or very public shootings. People of questionable mental stability see the way they can get THEIR VERY OWN claim to fame. Much more than their “15 minutes”, as it stands now in regards to the reporting. But then how would news networks continue to be able to garner ratings days and days after a shooting if they can’t “name names”?

    When people see that even if they are the fulcrum of the shooting ( the shooter) and DO NOT get their name plastered all over the news on multiple outlets and for DAYS and DAYS on end….. those unbalanced and troubled people will NOT be so inclined to attempt the same. After all, how can a shooters get people to finally take notice of “poor little ole’ me” whose life is so much harder and more troubled than anyone else in the history of the world?

  21. avatar BierceAmbrose says:

    Because they’re dramatic, dodge the hard questions and solutions, and could potentially be used to stampede through general disarmament?

    What do I win?

  22. avatar Badwolf says:

    Fear of guns is I think similar to fear of sharks. Majority of sharks are completely harmless, and even those that can kill will ignore people. Shark fatalities are so rare. It’s so rare that you are 75 times more likely to die by lightning. But when it happens it’s brutal, so it sticks to people’s minds.

    I know many people who have never even seen a shark outside an aquarium and yet can’t stop imagining it coming for them when they go swimming.

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