Should we ban reporting of mass shootings?

11/15/2019 9:37 AM | Anonymous

By Tim Andrews

There’s no question we all deplore mass shootings, and as much as anyone we would like to prevent these horrendous acts. Regrettably, the misguided solution that gets most of the attention is more gun control impacting law-abiding citizens. What we get is more gun control on top of more gun control, none of which ever impacts demented individuals, preventing them from perpetrating evil.

Gun control does not work, there are literally thousands of gun control laws on the books and it’s clear they don’t work. So, what will work? Of late, some media and law enforcement officials to varying degrees have begun withholding the names of the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes. The reason often given is that the perpetrators are often looking for notoriety and it’s felt withholding their names serves the greater good.

There’s merit to that logic and I would propose taking it a step further. I would propose a law not just withholding the name of the perpetrator, but also banning the media from reporting mass shootings. By withholding names, the media and law enforcement have given, perhaps unintentionally, evidence that they believe reporting on mass shootings does contribute to their frequency.

Withholding names is a start but it’s voluntary and the names to some degree still end up in the media. Even if names are withheld it still does not deprive the shooter of the notoriety of his crime or his manifesto. Notoriety and recognition may very well be the principal reason for mass shootings.

Yes, I know, what about that pesky First Amendment, freedom of the press? Well, we’ve been lectured for years by the media that the Bill of Rights are not absolute, that “reasonable” regulations were not only acceptable but reasonable if they can save lives.

The record is clear that gun regulations will do nothing to prevent mass shootings. It’s time we look for real solutions that make sense. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential mass shooter, would you commit a mass shooting if you knew no one would ever hear about it? What would be the point?

Is this proposal radical perhaps, but think of the lives it could save? If the gun grabbing politicians and their allies in the media are sincere about saving lives, they should embrace this proposal with open arms. I’m guessing this proposal will probably be met with silence. If so, it’s proof that saving lives is secondary to them. They need these mass shootings to help promote their agenda to disarm the American people.

Harsh, maybe, but their refusal to consider some restriction on the First Amendment exposes their hypocrisy.  

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