One of the things a hopeless news addict from birth like me uses to distract from the thought of 20 first graders dead is what an utter mess the media has made of this tragedy.
First it was Ryan, then it was Adam.
First mom was a teacher, then she wasn't.
First she was dead at home, then at the school, then back at home.
First dad was dead, then he's fine.
First the .223 was in the car, then it was the sole weapon.
First there was an altercation at the school days before, then the day before, then it never happened.
First, it was how did he slip in? Now, he shot out a doorglass.
For a while, there was a mysterious man caught in the parking lot, who said, "I didn't do it!" Now there is no one.
Oh, we won't show a picture until it's confirmed... oh, it's on-screen? Then it must be confirmed. This is the guy that did it...what? Oh, wait, that's his brother.
A whole class of kindergartners are unaccounted for... no, wait, it's first graders.
It would almost be hard to believe, but then last night we watched the annoying Judge Jeannie Pirro on Fox announce she was about to interview a young man who raced to the school when he heard shots. Only thing was, as we found out in between her incessant interruptions, that he had not got to the school (had to stay at the perimeter with everyone else) and never heard the shots (a neighbor heard the shots and called his mom).
Years ago, Phil Hartman was in an SNL skit where he rushed in as "Officer Blowing-Things-Out-Of-All -Proportion". Nowadays, it's "Reporter-Blowing-It-Out-Of-All-Proportion." And it's easy to see how. One hears a rumour. They jump on it without any research. "Where did you hear it? Who was there? How do they know?" Those are the questions they should ask, but these days everything they hear is filtered through "what will the sound bite be?" Another example from last night was Judge Jeannie announcing at a commercial break: "Next, how he got into the school"- which was in fact answered later (and on another channel). But when she came back, she merely interviewed a neighboring town's police chief whom she grilled about what kind of security proceedures schools had. I walked away (literally) wondering if she's this kind of newsperson, what the hell kind of judge was she?
And it's not limited to news media. FB et al has been a battleground for gun-control vs. Second Amendment, God being pushed out of schools, and people wanting their ten minutes of fame by putting up and sharing photoshopped pictures of the tragedy with some pithy remark attached. Here's one I'll share with you, that a relative posted (and I mentioned in the comments section of the last post):
To which I replied:
Before you post things like that handgun pic, you should do some research. Each of those nations have differences in populations. Assuming the figures posted are right, which is hard to do since there IS no West Germany anymore, I compared the numbers to the populations and got the percentage of deaths per pop for each nation. Israel was first at 7.46, followed by Germany at 5.86, Switzerland at 4.29, Japan at 3.75, USA 3.46, Sweden 2.22, Canada 1.5, and Great Britain at 1.28. Not as bad as you thought, are we?
To which my relative replied that he MISREAD the picture and is a firm supporter of the Second Amendment.
You see, every one of us from the news media on down is shooting off their mouth about what they "think" but there are too many who simply ARE NOT thinking. Everyone wants the latest info first- and I am no exeption. Which is why I haven't tried to post the facts of the case anywhere. I wasn't there, and even the best news sources have been suspect.
And all of it distracts from what is important. The families of twenty-six people have need of comfort, and the family of one has to figure out what the hell they did wrong that allowed this to happen. Or as a wise friend put to poetry this morning:
Because the real issue here,
is not found in guns or protocol.
Is how a killer is made at all?