Editorial: Foundation of shooting involves more than glorification, name of gunman

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School shootings have been a reoccurring problem all over The United States. From elementary schools to colleges, every school is a potential target.

Columbine, Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech are just some of the names that were plastered across televisions and news outlets across the country. The many names and families of those affected recall memories of gunshots and of the tragic events that lead to the loss of family members, friends and loved ones.

Unfortunately, Umpqua Community College in Roseburg must be added to this growing list. For the sake of honesty, it’s easy to say that what happened in Roseburg isn’t the first incident reoccurring in the papers. Each time, the focus is on two things: sympathy for the victims and the controversy over gun control. But one topic that is avoided but ends up being spotlighted, is the person holding the gun. And recently, Obama has attempted to put an end to glorifying the shooter.

After the shooting at Umpqua, it was rumored Obama was going to sign a bill that prohibits media outlets from naming the shooter suspected. While signing this bill was not true, we still stand behind the issue of not releasing a shooter’s name on the media.

In his conference announcement on Oct. 11, he talked about glorifying the shooter and if the suspect’s name is not allowed to be released that might help lessen the glorification of the gunman.

This will not solve the problem but it is a small step in denying their fame and discouraging future tragedies. As long as journalists know who the shooter was to be able to report on why they did what they did, the public does not need to have the name released. The focus should be on the cause and how we as a nation can provide support to prevent it from happening in the future.

What is really important is being able to know the shooter’s back-story. Behind every person is a story. Although nothing justifies what these gunmen have done, knowing their background is what should be highlighted for future prevention.

Having a history of mental illness is a large concern, one that our nation is severely lacking in resources to help address this growing problem. Another problem that has encapsulated these killers are societal standards for masculinity. Some people have felt pushed to go to these extreme measures to seek revenge on innocent people based off of their own hurt feelings or over rejected proposals.

Copying and imitating television and how gun violence is portrayed is another major contributor to the background of these gunmen. When the violence seen on television is their only source of information of course turning into the methods of Bruce Willis in Die Hard seems like the right answer, when it is clearly not.

All of this exceeds gun control laws. Stricter gun control will help make it harder to acquire firearms, but if people want a gun and have a strong motive, they will find a way. Whether it’s theft, illegally obtaining a weapon or using family members’ legally obtained weapons; people will get their hands on a weapon if they are truly determined. There are more aspects to this issue than meets the eye and in order for there to be a stop to school shootings, all these problems need to be addressed.

The American society needs to come together to support those who may feel isolated to the point of violence.

Reaching out may help save lives.


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