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Lamenting the Loss of Attention

It seems some groups are a little disheartened that the bigger media outlets haven’t picked up on gun control as a contributing factor in the Arizona shootings as much as they think it should:

And even though the central event in question was a grisly shooting, the media spent significantly less time on the gun control debate. During the same week, gun control factored into just 5 percent of Tucson coverage, a total that represents one-fifth of the time devoted to the political rhetoric debate.

Granted, I don’t agree with blaming political rhetoric or gun laws in this case. While I normally don’t fall into the “where the hell were the parents” group, I really have been asking that question in this situation. While they obviously didn’t pull the trigger, it does appear from many accounts that they willfully ignored many signs that their son was in need of serious help and was considered by outsiders to be a danger to himself and to others.

Also interesting to note: Only 12% of the coverage was labeled as “straight news account.”

4 Responses to “Lamenting the Loss of Attention”

  1. Sigivald says:

    While they obviously didn’t pull the trigger, it does appear from many accounts that they willfully ignored many signs that their son was in need of serious help and was considered by outsiders to be a danger to himself and to others.

    On the other hand, what could they have done?

    It doesn’t sound like he was “bad enough” to be forcibly committed, and given that… it’s not like they could force him to remain medicated (which is about all you can do for paranoid schizophrenia, as far as I understand it).

    They might have “tried more”, I suppose, but it’s exceedingly doubtful that it would have had any effect – hell, there’s a non-zero chance that he might have developed the idea that they were “against him” too and been driven into action sooner.

    It may well be that there literally isn’t anything that anyone could have done, in the current legal climate.

    It may even be that that legal climate is still the best compromise.

  2. Bitter says:

    We’ll never know what could have happened. But, what if they had managed to help him so that he did not act out against others? We’ll never know one way or the other.

    From the sounds of it, he was starting to show problems as a teen – a minor. I’m not saying they absolutely could have saved lives, but that doesn’t mean we should sit back and encourage neglect of a child’s medical/mental health care. Raising the questions about if they could have done more to care for their son doesn’t mean I’m calling for new laws or am assuming that he wouldn’t have done something equally appalling at another point in time. It’s just raising the issue that there may have been neglect, and I should hope that’s not behavior we want to promote.

  3. “It’s just raising the issue that there may have been neglect, and I should hope that’s not behavior we want to promote.”

    And by raising the discussion, it may cause some other parents dealing with a child spiraling down into mental illness to be more pro-active. Think of this not as a chance to blame Loughner’s parents, but as a chance to get someone else to stop a tragedy before it gets out of hand.

  4. Dannytheman says:

    “And by raising the discussion, it may cause some other parents dealing with a child spiraling down into mental illness to be more pro-active.”

    Hallelujah!! From your words to Gods ears.

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