Media focus is off target


Media focus is off target


I'm from Virginia, and I know students at Va. Tech. I've been watching the irksome news coverage.

Death is always sad, but the silver lining is that it brings people together. Solidarity is why people are so compelled to tune in, and while Facebook has been great for that, the media sucked. Facebook may be prone to rumors, but you can tell who's missing and who to be concerned about.

The media, however, have been eking out widespread political implications of this tragedy, instead of bringing people together.

This event does have political ramifications, but the media has missed the mark by saying things like, in a nutshell, "He was born in a different country! Let's make this about immigration, despite the fact that most of his formative experiences were here in the US because he had lived here legally since he was eight!"

Or there's "How on earth could this psycho get a gun? Well, it was a completely mundane, legal purchase, and he bought it with 'chilling simplicity.' Let's interview the merchant and harp on gun control!"

Even on a 24-hour network, there are no gray areas in politics, so their coverage is ill-suited even for the wider audience. Gun control and free speech may be slippery slopes, but when free speech demonstrates a violent psychosis, how about a little gun control?

I hate to be blunt, but we all know the Cho type, and as individuals, we should reach out like the teacher did. As a campus policy, I'm not suggesting that loners should be branded on the forehead, but when a kid confuses fantasy and reality, expresses violent fantasies and suicidal thoughts, and finally gets sent to the counseling center while you've got him in the straightjacket, confiscate his registered guns.

Bethany Quinn
Senior and former Hurricane columnist


Original Source:<a href=>The Miami Hurricane - April 20, 2007</a>


Bethany Quinn


The Miami Hurricane




Sara Hood


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Bethany Quinn, “Media focus is off target,” The April 16 Archive, accessed March 1, 2024,