HomeLatest NewsThree Shootings in Ten Days Challenge Media's Gun Incident Narratives

Three Shootings in Ten Days Challenge Media’s Gun Incident Narratives

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The media narratives that are used to report on mass shootings are well-known. The beats that are used in coverage of mass shootings have become such commonplace as to be considered tropes.

We also see that the media’s coverage changes when a shooter does not fit the stereotype. It has even become a cliché that when the individual featured is discovered to be from a protected minority class, the response is “… And then, the story was removed from the front page.”

This secondary reality has been a major issue this month. We have seen the Mad Libs narrative in its full shame. There have been several gun-related incidents within a few days, and this has resulted in a blatant silence from the media. It is a shame that our media superiors have created fake outrage, as there hasn’t been much outrage in the last week.

In Texas, there was a shooting at Joel Osteen’s church. The gunman made a grave mistake, as he was quickly confronted by parishioners armed with guns after displaying a weapon. The opportunity for journalists, who were eager to condemn Texas’ gun-crazy attitude, was stymied as soon as it became known that the shooter was Hispanic. The woke officials quickly stepped up to clarify the murky situation.

They did not want to mention that the shooter was an immigrant. The names below are a result of the person identifying themselves as male. When a non-binary, transgender, or possibly non-binary individual is in the line of fire, the media will flee faster than a toddler who just grabbed a Nutter Butter. It was good that the attacker was stopped before there were any more deaths. Once their pronouns changed to Was/Were, the story was no longer reported.

There was also the shooting at the parade celebrating the Super Bowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. We saw the usual script in the media, where the NRA was blamed and pedantic demands for new gun laws were made. Then the facts came out. Two of the shooters, who were both underage, were arrested for illegal possession of weapons. Funny how the call for stricter gun laws is never made, because that would expose the many flaws in this tired argument.

The other two adults were also charged and identified. The press’s reaction was different from the usual. News outlets were reluctant to name the shooters and waited a long time to release the mugshots. This is usually done to justify running another story about the violence or to continue the anti-gun narrative. The Kansas City Star dragged its feet on releasing the mugshots of Lyndell Mays and other suspects because, according to an Editor’s note, they only release mugshots of major violent acts.

The Star’s policy is to only use booking mugs for the most serious crimes.

There were only 22 injuries, including 12 children and one death, at the nationally broadcasted SUPER BOWL PARADE !!!! What if something major happens that afternoon? You better not report it!

The incident of three police officers losing their lives on February 18 is one I feel like I should bring up again. This recall is partially attributable to the weekend news vacuum. Let’s look at the most common gun narratives to explain why this event was so under-reported.

  • Guns/Legislation: The issue is not only the availability of guns but also the laws that are needed to control such behavior.
  • Race – It is always the whites who are responsible, and it’s worse when victims are of another race.
  • Policies- Systemic racism in law enforcement is a constant problem. It is so ingrained that, when Tyre Nichols was taken down by five African-American officers, white supremacy was blamed.
  • Social Motives – The social media of the shooter is typically analyzed and it’s said that their writings and influence on these platforms influenced them to commit violence.

Burnsville is next, located just outside Minneapolis. Shannon Cortez Gooden violates all four of the familiar media gun stereotypes.

Gun Laws Gooden had been convicted as a felon and was prohibited from possessing a gun.

Gooden is a black man with a history of intolerance toward whites.

Police: Gooden killed two police officers and a paramedic.

Gooden posted social media images of himself holding guns and referring to white people as his favorite targets.

In all three cases, the usual lengthy commentary by the media outlets is not present. There was no blanket coverage from the different sources, no prolonged days of revisiting crimes, and no multiple displays during news hours or prime-time pundit programs. CNN then proved this point almost as if it wanted to.

Anderson Cooper, amid these stories being minimized, covered the case of a Texas girl who went missing and whose body was found in a river. The suspect was arrested and tabbed. CNN boldly displayed the image of an alleged white murderer.

In the past two weeks, we’ve seen the media relying on the characters of the people involved to determine their attitudes toward shooting stories. All of the outrage over racism, the desire to cite negative influences, and the concern about gun safety are based on the identity of the person involved. The alleged negative components of racism, gun safety concerns, and other issues are all thrown out if the accused is from one of the protected classes.

It shows that all we’ve seen has been a complaint of convenience. A shooting that cannot be used as a vehicle for one of the preferred narratives does not have much value to mainstream news outlets.

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