Photo Courtesy Obama White House Archives / Pres. Obama signs executive orders on gun control in January 2013. Since the Vegas shooting, the federal government has been unable to come together to act against gun violence, even though many state and local governments have taken their own measures.
El Camino Real Charter

Shortcomings of today’s media: What needs to be done differently

On Oct. 1, the Las Vegas shooting took place. For many, the few weeks after the shooting brought about a hard look into the importance of gun restrictions, and rekindled the age-old debate on gun rights and the Constitutional protections of them juxtaposed with the government’s need to protect its people.

After the initial shock wore off and details continued to flood the news, it seemed as if the government was mobilizing to pass some gun-related restrictions, not on any actual guns, but on bump stocks, which made the weapons used in the Las Vegas much more deadly.

A bipartisan bill was created, but after the pressure from the people died down, so did the support for the bill and with the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) rebuking of the bill strengthened.

Now, just two months after the Las Vegas shooting, Congress looks poised to do anything but revisit the issue of guns in America, even after an attempted school shooting in a rural Northern California town that spent only two days on most major news cycles.

Why has the government let these seemingly golden moments to do something about the gun epidemic slip through their fingertips?

Mainly because of a lack of public support and interest after a few justifiably motivated weeks. Congressional decisions, especially at times when elections are coming up, seem to be based off of whether or not it would make a difference in their chances of getting elected.

When the answer is no, the government tends to say no to individual pleas for change and progress, even when it is glaringly obvious to some that change is needed.

And public support is heavily influenced by how the public receives their information. In the case of the Las Vegas shooting, once the proximity of the event lessened as weeks passed, less time was devoted to the coverage of the shooting. Once it was off  television, most people took less time to tweet and write about it. Thus, only two months and somehow more than a few shootings and violent events away from the events of Las Vegas, no action has been taken or seemingly will be taken by the government.

Is today’s media desensitized to gun violence in America after weeks of saturation of gun-related conversation dominated the country? Probably not. What is more likely is that many Americans have either become desensitized or simply bored by gun coverage, and seeing this, the media and politicians have relaxed their coverage of it.

The media has responded to the people, which in most cases would be positive, but in this case, I think a change needs to occur.

More news outlets need to restart the conversation on gun restrictions and bump stock restrictions and that when the public begins to turn a blind eye to the dirty and troubling parts of America, the media has a responsibility to shine the light on these issues.

If the media could highlight these issues rather than cast them aside in an attempt to help ratings and readership, then maybe the people will be kept on track on be a driving force in helping the government gain the public support it needs to progressively promote the general welfare of this country through common sense gun control.