Shooting at the Capitol

For a brief period yesterday every major media outlet was doing wall-to-wall coverage of the shooting at the Capitol. Everybody was speculating about the crazy gun wielding maniac who was shooting up the White House. Until, an hour or so later, it was revealed that the only shots fired were by police officers — at a woman driving a car with a small child in it. Her crime? Attempting to drive around some barricades in front of the White House. The police effectively gunned down the woman for a traffic violation (good job, guys).

But I’m not going to spend a lot of time dwelling on the situation. Shootings happen frequently in Washington DC, which is rather ironic considering the city is effectively a gun-free zone and the home turf of multiple law enforcement agencies. The only difference between this shooting and the other shootings that happen in Washington DC is that this one happened in the privileged zone. Washington DC is separated into two zones: the privileged zone where the politicians and their lobbyist hang out and the unprivileged zone where everybody else hangs out. Most of the unprivileged zone consists of projects. The media gives no thought to shootings that happen in projects.

Another lesson to be learned from this story is how quickly the media jumps to completely wrong conclusions. First we heard there was an exchange of gunfire. Some began speculating about the “assault weapons” the suspect was using. Later we learned that the police were the only ones sending fast moving pieces of lead into the air. There was also whispers about this being a terrorist attack. Later we learned that it was a woman, driving a car, with a child inside. Some terrorist. My point is this: when a story first breaks nobody has any details so you should assume that nobody knows what the hell they’re talking about. Don’t believe anything reported within the first hours of a major incident. Everything being reported initially is bullshit based on speculation. The only thing the media is doing by reporting on a situation right away is attempting to drum up ratings (and Odin knows they need those ratings).