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The Media and Adam Lanza

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71 More Children Killed By Guns Since Newtown by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com


"Events like this, I said, if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous, " -- The late Roger Ebert on being asked to help find sound bites for news segments by the Tom Brokaw news network after the Columbine Massacre.

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  Six months have passed since Adam Lanza brutally murdered his own mother and 26 others, including children, before taking his own life ,but it's hard to move on. Unfortunately, the mainstream media exploits news stories like the Sandy Hook Massacre to the point where if people don't get consumed by ridiculous conspiracy theories, political debates or they grow tired of the coverage which is incredibly unfortunate.  

  Let's face it, homicide is a newsworthy subject.   It's pretty obvious with smart phone aps like "Wild About Trial" there are those who are enamored by people who feel the need to kill.   They get enraged and obsessed with the thought that someone like Jodi Arias killed her ex boyfriend after a day of sex or that James Whitey Bulger a Boston Mob Boss killed many before spending years on the lam. Bulger even had a popular blockbuster movie based off his life of crime.  

  While newsworthy and entertaining to some homicide isn't a leading cause of death nationally. Suicide is the more common cause of violent death but it is not a topic that's worth discussing apparently in the news. But according to National Institute of Mental Health, "Suicide is a major, preventable public health problem. In 2007, it was the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. , accounting for 34,598 deaths. The overall rate was 11.3 suicide deaths per 100,000 people. An estimated 11 attempted suicides occur per every suicide death."  

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So why does the media insist on dancing around what really happened with Adam Lanza and why he decided to go on a brutal murder spree?  After the massacre Ann Curry requested for all of us to pledge to do 26 good deeds in honor of the people who were killed at the elementary school. The cause seemed worthy enough but she purposefully left off two deaths, Adam Lanza and his mother, Nancy in order to appease the general population by being politically correct by not showing what's apparently truly evil. But leaving the mother and son out of the death toll has never sat right with me.  Is someone's disaffection with their own life to the point where the need to kill themselves less threatening?  Forgetting the Lanzas' is neglecting the opportunity to learn from the tragedy in order to prevent similar acts from becoming a new normal and helping those like Lanza from committing the inexplicable.  

To know about the Sandy Hook Massacre you have to start with the suicide and not the murder weapons or the fact that he killed his mother and 26 others. It has nothing to do with the fact that he had Aspergers, a mental illness or had an ease in accessing guns even though it's okay to admit all those things are true...if they are. The Sandy Hook Massacre happened because Adam Lanza experienced so much self-hatred that he felt the need to go out in a blaze of glory while spreading that darkness that consumed him. He knew his actions would play out in the news and he'd gain infamy especially after he murdered people including first graders before shooting himself. But what caused his dark, self-hatred hasn't been exposed yet and we should not accept anything less than the truth.  

If you or someone you know has feelings of suicide call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you'll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

 

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Is an aspiring writer and advocate on mental illness awareness.

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