Something that always amazes me about shootings is the way everybody seems to play fast and loose with the facts. If you’ve been paying attention to the news revolving around Friday’s shooting in Connecticut you’ve probably heard that the shooter use an AR-15 and that the AR-15 was found in the trunk of the shooter’s car. You’ve probably also heard that the shooter’s mother was a teacher and was entirely unconnected with the school.
The media, in its frenzy to get ratings immediately after a disaster, is often willing to report rumors as facts and seems unwilling to perform actual journalistic groundwork. Instead of researching and presenting facts the media reports on information obtained through second-hand interviews with individuals whose connection with the events in question are usually questionable.
The media’s coverage of the Connecticut shooting reminds me of their coverage of the Zimmerman case. Immediately after Zimmerman’s fatal confrontation with Martin media outlets were reporting about Zimmerman’s racist statements and stalking of Martin, neither of which panned out to be true. Now we have contradicting information being reported about the Connecticut shooting leaving those wanting facts high and dry.
I really wish the media would take their time and report on facts as they’re confirmed instead of rumors as they’re developed. As it currently stands we probably won’t have an actual picture of what happened for a week or two. This fact won’t stop gun control advocates and politicians from acting though. Already there are calls for a new “assault weapon” ban even though we don’t know for sure if the shooter used an “assault weapon” (better known as a magazine fed semi-automatic rifle). Our society is now based on reactionary policy instead of policies developed around confirmed facts.