Guns in America
Do you think Americans are safe with the current gun control in this country?
Gun control has been a topic of discussion since the beginning of time. With the recent shooting last week in Florida the topic has resurfaced and been a leading discussion since. People in today’s society believe what they want to believe and it is very hard to change their mind. Those who are pro-gun are going to remain that way and people who are anti-guns are not going to change their opinion. The media plays a big role in influencing one's opinion. Depending on the broadcast you are tuned into they will have one view and you change to another channel and they are supporting the opposite view. This makes it very difficult to understand what is best for the country and us as citizens. Some folks allow the media to influence them without doing their own research or educating themselves on the facts- you can't always believe what you read or hear.
Can you believe everything you learn from the media?
Some online media like to “cook their numbers” and increase their statistics to get people talking. One website, https://everytownresearch.org/school-shootings/5837/, stated that Parkland Florida was the eighteenth school shooting in 2018. This website is a huge pro-gun control website and the number they provided was proven to be wrong by every major news channel. Of the eighteen school shootings that were listed two of them were claimed to be accidental and not considered to be a school shooting. The website tries to cause angst and hysteria by misleading Americans by providing inaccurate information. Below are the two examples I am referring to:
Grayson College, Denison, Texas
A criminal justice club student picked up a loaded gun, belonging to an advisor, which the student thought was an unloaded training weapon. She then shot at a wall target, unintentionally firing a bullet, which went through the wall and broke a window. The advisor was a licensed peace officer permitted to carry a firearm on campus.
Harmony Learning Center, Maplewood, MN
A school liaison officer was sitting on a bench talking with some students when a third-grader pressed the trigger on the officer's holstered weapon, causing it to fire and strike the floor. The holster was equipped with a trigger guard designed to prevent such accidental discharges, so the department is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the event.
Turning a tragedy into Hollywood
Brandon Minoff, who is an 18 year old student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, had the following to say about the media:
“I wholeheartedly believe that the media is politicizing this tragedy,” Minoff said. “It seems that gun control laws is the major topic of conversation rather than focusing on the bigger issue of 17 innocent lives being taken at the hands of another human.”
The media will take a tragedy and turn it into a complete debacle and you feel like you are watching a movie out of Hollywood. It's as though the reporters disconnect themselves from reality and forget about those who are suffering from the loss of loved ones. All they care about is getting the "big interview" from a victim or a grieving family member. There is no sensitivity to giving space to and allowing those to grieve in privacy.
What is the underlying cause?
People are always blaming mass shootings on guns and the lack of gun control but forget to focus on what cased an individual to take the lives of innocent victims. A large population of American citizens suffer from mental health issues and it's almost impossible to know who is dealing with this silent disease. Resources and counseling are available if seeker out but many patients feel that they can handle their mental illness on their own without professional help or they are too ashamed to admit they have mental health issues.
In the past few years majority of the mass shooters have had some type of mental illness diagnosis. In order to commit one of these heinous acts mental health is almost always the underlying cause. If an individual is being bullied or has hatred towards a classmate that leads to depression which is one of the leading mental illnesses that many Americans suffer from but is considered to be silent.
Having HIPPA in place those with mental illness diagnoses are protected and are not mandated to report their illness when trying to purchase a gun legally. Nikolas Cruz, Parkland shooter, had purchased a gun legally and as we have learned suffers from mental illness but HIPPA protects him and there is no way for the gun dealers to know this information. I understand they health records must be private but a system needs to be implemented to be able to identify those with major mental health issues when trying to purchase some type of weapon that could harm them or innocent victims.
If Americans hear only about the bad things that happen with guns, they will be much more likely to support strict gun regulations. The unjustified fears may also disarm people and prevent them from saving lives.
What it takes to break the leading story
The media goes above and beyond to try and be the first in their industry to break a leading story. I have witnessed this first-hand through my professional experience. Reporters would arrive to a crime scene and while law enforcement would be trying to conduct their job as best as possible the reporters would be crossing lines to try and get a photo and video of what was being investigated. Many times they would insert themselves into situations where is would be completely inappropriate to have them present and they would not respect the law professionals trying to complete and investigation. To them it's just about getting the breaking news out to the public first.
The video below shows the amount of modifications that can be done on an AR15. I have shot guns for the better part of 20 years and I have never seen or even heard of a chainsaw bayonet. Why would anyone put this on their rifle? This just shows you what kind of nonsense the news reports sometimes. Most of these modifications would not help a person during a shooting. So why does the media feel the need to show people these? My belief is to scare the American people.
Who to blame
When you hear of a mass shooting or murder the media is always quick to blame the gun yet when you hear of an police officer involved shooting the media immediately points fingers at the police officer involved. Why is that? Whether it's an officer involved shooting or mass school shooting you must blame the gunman and not the gun. It takes a finger to pull the trigger of a gun. I do agree with not allowing semi-automatic weapons being sold to the public and especially to those younger than 21 or suffering from a mental illness but you have to consider who pulled the trigger.
Semi-automatic vs non semi-automatic
The media refers to “semi-automatic” guns on a regular basis. Most guns now a days are considered to be semi-automatic weapons. The definition of semi-automatic from dictionary.com is "(of a firearm) automatically ejecting the cartridge case of a fired shot and loading the next cartridge from the magazine but requiring a squeeze of the trigger to fire each individual shot". This means that one pull of the trigger shoots one bullet. To fire a second bullet, you have to pull the trigger again. People sometimes only hear the automatic part of semi-automatic. A bolt action rifle or antique musket would not be considered a semi-automatic because you have to manually load a new round into the gun.
Different looks but same functions
Bolt Action Rifle
Can you always believe what you hear?
The media can make or break a topic with their reporting. They could turn a beautiful rose into an ugly wildflower. Many youth today will trust everything to learn from the media and will try to persuade others. It is amazing how one news station may report a leading story from one view and another news station will report the same story from a completely different standpoint. I know this is all due to ratings and who the channel's target audience is but there should be some type of repercussion to those reporters providing inaccurate news. We rely on professional reporters to educate us on current events but it's worrisome knowing that stories being reported on may not be true.
There was a recent news story a few weeks ago in Boston where a radio listener called a news reporter pretending to be the agent of Tom Brady and convinced the reporter of a false story. The reporter wrote an editorial that published in a major newspaper before ever checking sources. The story was proven to be false but it was unable to be retracted before print. That reporter has since been suspended for his actions.