The Daily Evergreen

Media should share stories of victims, not shooters

Showering shooters with attention gives them what they want

Returning+Marjory+Stoneman+Douglas+High+School+student+David+Hogg+speaks+to+local+media+two+weeks+after+the+Parkland+mass+shooting.+Focus+on+victims+and+survivors+is+a+more+appropriate+way+to+handle+tragic+events.
Returning Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg speaks to local media two weeks after the Parkland mass shooting. Focus on victims and survivors is a more appropriate way to handle tragic events.

Returning Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg speaks to local media two weeks after the Parkland mass shooting. Focus on victims and survivors is a more appropriate way to handle tragic events.

Joe Cavaretta | Tribune News Service

Joe Cavaretta | Tribune News Service

Returning Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg speaks to local media two weeks after the Parkland mass shooting. Focus on victims and survivors is a more appropriate way to handle tragic events.

RAMONA KOHLER, Evergreen columnist

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It’s only April and there have already been more than a dozen mass shootings this year, according to Gun Violence Archive. More than a dozen times where people’s lives changed drastically within minutes. The media has desensitized society, publicizing the mass shooters as victims when instead, they should be focusing on the actual victims.

Psychology professor Craig Parks said the common trends seen in a mass shooter include them being a loner, having a hard time separating fantasy from reality and being very active online with other toxic people who understand their mindset.

“They need and want the attention,” Parks said. “Even if committing a mass shooting ends with them spending their lives in prison, or in most cases leaves them dead, they don’t care because they will go down in history.”

It doesn’t help that most of us get on Facebook or Twitter and share the story. We add our opinion, thinking that we are doing it for the victims but we actually end up adding gasoline to the fire. With us sharing the shooter on social media, we are helping them gain more attention than they deserve.

Of course, the people who share the crimes on social media are just trying to help. So instead of sharing news about the shooter, we should be sharing more about the victims and their families. We should be making sure that the information we are sharing is accurate.

Mass shooting and mass murders have become such a common part of our society that these events are being made into episodes on TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy or Criminal Minds. These portrayals of violence have desensitized us and when something violent actually does happen, it is hard for us to understand the actual impact.

Parks also mentioned that the shooters like to feel that they have all the power. With a mass shooting, the shooter can decide who gets to live and who gets to die. This makes them feel like they finally have a say and control in their lives.

That alone should be enough for us to stop making these individuals famous by giving them what they want.

We are feeding into their game by portraying them as victims. Yes, in a way they are. They have mental illnesses that we know nothing about and there needs to be a better system put in place to help these people.

At the end of the day, though, the real victims are the ones who had to fight to stay alive. They are the ones that were there, scared out of their minds, and they are the ones that will be dealing with this emotionally for the rest of their lives. They are the ones that we should be focusing on.

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Media should share stories of victims, not shooters