When a shocking tragedy like the recent Parkland, Florida mass school shooting takes place, the media keeps it in the headlines for days. Television inundates our senses with sights and sounds that reinforce the human emotion of the calamity while the drama is relived in front of our eyes day and night. The media milks an event like this for all the ratings it’s worth, keeping it in the news-cycle for up to a week, or at least until the next natural disaster or political scandal comes along.
Our senses can easily become overwhelmed by the relentless rehearsing of the story and its horrific details, all presented in a manner calculated to elicit an emotional response rather than rational thought. If we’re not alert, and diligent to exercise critical thinking, we can quickly lose perspective and join Chicken Little in believing that the sky really is falling, that mass shootings are sweeping the land, and that if the government doesn’t do something quick, “we’ll all die!”
Mass public shootings (properly called “mass murder,” unless you’re trying to sensationalize a particular aspect of the incident) are indeed a terrible thing that we should be working to prevent. But how much of the American landscape does the phenomenon of mass shootings really take up as opposed to the amount of news headlines it’s given? Continue reading “Putting Mass School Shootings Into Perspective”