AFTER ORLANDO’S MASS SHOOTING THIS WEEKEND I noticed an interesting trend on my feeds: people were frustrated that they were having to have what seems like a futile gun control debate again. Indeed, the repetitiveness of this national debate has led to The Onion continuously reposting an old article they wrote, titled “‘No way to prevent this,’ Says only country where this regularly happens,” with an updated location and date for the most recent shooting.
This repetition may not be a bad idea. Ideas can take time to sink in, so it may actually be worth repeating ourselves. As such, whenever this happens, I repost two videos. The first (posted above) is from the excellent program Newswipe. The show, created by Charlie Brooker, the man behind Black Mirror, delves into the inner workings of the news media. In this clip, he discusses how the media is actually helping to propagate a culture in which mass shootings occur. They do this by making the shooter into an anti-hero, by dramatizing the body count, and by giving nationwide media saturation to a story which should be focused primarily on the local community affected.
A forensic psychiatrist who studies mass murders on the show says, “Every time we have intense saturation coverage of a mass murder, we expect to see one or two more within a week.”
It’s a harsh reminder that we ourselves are not innocent in creating a culture where shootings constantly happen.
The second is from a stand-up bit by Australian comedian Jim Jefferies.
Jeffries gives one of the best stand-up routines on gun control of all time. He’s not opposed to gun ownership, he says, but is rather annoyed at the false argument that guns are for protecting your family. Jefferies was violently attacked in his apartment by robbers years back, and he says it’s ridiculous when people say to him, “Imagine if you’d had a gun!”
“I was naked at the time,” Jefferies says, “I wasn’t wearing my holster.”
He adds, “You have a gun in your bedside table, one of your kids picks it up, thinks it’s a toy, shoots another one of your kids. Happens every fucking day. People go, ‘That would never happen in my house. Because I’m a responsible gun owner, I keep my guns locked in a safe.’
“THEN THEY’RE NOT FUCKING PROTECTION!”
There are good arguments to be made for gun rights, but there are also, as Jefferies perfectly explains, “bullshit arguments and lies.” There’s a part two to this bit which goes a bit further:
Most importantly, the videos explain something that we tend to forget in this debate: our current situation is not inevitable. We have the power to make our society a safer, less dangerous place. It may not be easy, it may take a long time, but ultimately, we can build a world where this does not happen on such an appallingly regular basis.