Turn Off the News

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I do not usually like to “share” links, whether on Facebook or even here but the events of the last 48 hours have gotten me incredibly heartbroken. Maybe it is because I work with children who were the same age as the ones senselessly killed yesterday that makes me more emotionally attached to this story than most. Then I found this article, and as cynical as it may be, I think there is very much valid truth to what Morgan Freeman says.

Morgan Freeman’s brilliant take on what happened yesterday :
“You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.

It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed

people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”

And with that, all I can say is let us be grateful and happy for the family and friends we have, no matter how difficult our lives may be, because there could not be anything more heartbreaking than realizing that that last moment you dropped your child off at school would be the last time you would see them alive.
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