Yep, I watched the shooting videos. Both of them. Multiple angles – an editor could cut between them. You can see them both here if you’re so inclined, and I would expect most of you aren’t. I watched them, and then I checked in on the reaction from time to time throughout the day. The shootings made me mad, and the reactions made me madder.
Spare me, please, the journalists who take time to talk about how they’ve reported from so many dangerous places, and how this could have been them. Part of the outrage of this story is, the reporter wasn’t IN a dangerous place. She was doing a live standup for a story on (from what I could tell) local economic development in some backwater in southern Virginia. A crazy ex-colleague killed her. It was a workplace shooting.
I’m not turning away anymore. It kills me that this country produces violent entertainment by the truckload, but believes watching an actual killing requires trigger warnings and a discreet averting of the eyes. Both videos are way less graphic than I expected. The sound is the worst, but I’ve heard women scream louder over spiders. It turns out, in fact, that you can kill two people wearing a body camera, and an average episode of “CSI” is more graphic.
Which may be a big part of our problem, right there.
Anyway, it all put me in a mood, so let’s go to some shooting-related bloggage and get out of here.
Because if one thing is clear, even though most Americans don’t have guns and most Americans would like specific improvements in gun policy, most Americans also do not change their beliefs on the subject just because there is another shooting. We look up at the crack of gunfire, note the identities of today’s victims, sigh, then go about our business unmoved. It is a peasant fatalism, a resignation beneath the spirit of a great country.
Yup. Farad Manjoo:
There was uncertainty in the sharing. Users expressed reservations as they passed on the gunman’s profile and his tweets. People were calling on Twitter and Facebook to act quickly to pull down his accounts. There were questions about the journalistic ethics of posting WDBJ’s live shot and the killer’s own document of the shooting, given that it was exactly what he had been expecting.
But these questions didn’t really slow anything down, a testament to the power of these networks to tap into each of our subconscious, automatic desires to witness and to share. The videos got out widely, forging a new path for nihilists to gain a moment in the media spotlight: an example that, given its success at garnering wide publicity, will most likely be followed by others.