I know you may be anxiously awaiting the next installment of my family vacation. But anyone who knows me and knows that I spent a decade and half as a broadcaster, also knows that I’m gonna have a few things to say about recent events in Virginia. I don’t want to disappoint.
This was a workplace shooting
When I first heard of the shooting I assumed it was some screwball TV viewer who had fixated on a journalist they saw everyday and felt the reporter had wronged them. Something like that would not have been hard to believe. After all since the seventies the technology has existed to allow even small stations to produce live interviews and stand-ups from anywhere. During thousands of these live shots everyday, journalists are hanging their butt out there in the wind, unprotected. This killing was a terrible thing.
But the reality of this incident is that was only another in a long line of workplace shootings. It could have just as easily happened in the newsroom or the business office as anywhere else out in the field. The biggest difference I see happening this time is that someone with a gun has finally done something to piss off an industry that can actually incite the public about gun violence and gun control. The folks at home listen to broadcasters and believe what they say is true. What I fear is broadcasters will do the wrong thing for the right reason.
We need crazy people control
If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you probably know how I feel about gun control. If not, read it now, I’ll wait right here for you. If you’re in a hurry here it is in a nutshell. Guns don’t kill people, crazy people kill people. Just take a look at the recent theater and school shootings. Do you think those guys were right minded when they did that? We need to outlaw crazy. Insanity is not a defense! Its an offense.
There’s no excuse for allowing crazy people to get near a gun anymore. The crazies are easy to spot. The guy today had been dumping his crap to Twitter and Facebook for years. All we have to do is monitor social media feeds and look for certain keywords. The tools for this are already in place! Do you hear me NSA?
In addition, we need to not be afraid to react to signs of crazy. Today’s shooter had faxed a TWENTY-THREE PAGE MANIFESTO to an ABC newsroom. The news director there should have seen this and called 911 immediately. If they didn’t arrest the sender for terroristic threats they could have gotten him for endangering the rain forest because of his over-use of paper
But I’m betting that this will create another outcry for gun control. Hillary has already twittered politically opportunistic words to that effect instead of just offering words of support to victims family at an emotionally trying time. What a surprise that is!
We don’t need gun control! We need crazy people control. Please, will someone smarter than me figure out how to see these nut jobs ahead of time, control them and put an end to gun violence.
I promise tomorrow to continue the vacation story.