Wait for it...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wait for it...

...'cause you know it's going to happen again when a hor­rifying incident like this captures international headlines!

Student Stabs 21 People at a High School Outside Pittsburgh

It's a syndrome known as "copycatting," and is especially prevalent among the young and impressionable.

The likelihood of it recurring is directly proportional to the amount of media coverage afforded the original event.

U.S. News & World Report is already ahead of the curve on this one:

Could School Stabbings Be the Next Great Threat?

Aside from the main stream media's "If it bleeds, it leads" axiom, what occurred at Franklin Regional High School in the Pittsburgh suburb of Murrysville took only five minutes for 16-year-old sophomore Alex Hribal to accomplish.

Unfortunately for the media, not only was there no guns involved, but the suspect's weapons were ordinary ol' kitchen knives, thereby precluding any hyperbolic headlines containing the words "deadly bayonettes" or "military-style combat knives."

(One columnist, however, The Daily Beast's Michael Daly, worked well into cocktail hour to make the story about "guns.")

The media is under the assumption... and perhaps they are right... that their readers, listeners and viewers thrill to tragedy.

So this incident will be reported on... minutiae many of us could not imagine... 'til the next such event happens.

Politicians, for the most part, though, will be ham-strung because there were no guns involved, and who dares come out against kitchen knives?

Well, now that I think of it, there will be a few: an ultra-Liberal Democratic Senator from California, an ancient Black Congresswoman from the District of Columbia, and an enthusiastic young State Senator representing the South Bronx.

Bills will be introduced, press conferences will be called, and the media will report on it with throbbing voices.

And Attorney General Eric Holder? As soon as he gets all gun-owners to wear bracelets, maybe he can come up with a high tech solution to student attacks with kitchen knives!


1. Jackie Bennett said...

There will be signs at school entrances: "Leave your weapons at the door." Armed monitors will be hired to frisk every student who enters. Maybe walk-through devices as used in airports will be required, too. What's becoming of this world, Speir? Is everybody going nuts? Whatever happened to old-fashioned discipline? I know, I know. That's a rhetorical question and doesn't address what you wrote about. You are right, the media keeps this stuff alive and exacerbates the problem. Fie on them, too!

We're just pen-and-paper fogies in a Twitter world, m'dear!

I think my favorite scenes in both versions of "Red Dragon" (the earlier one was entitled "Manhunter") were when sicko serial-killer "Francis Dollarhyde" lit the tabloid journalist "Freddie Lounds" on fire, and sent him rolling down a parking garage ramp strapped into a wheelchair. Wonderfully satisfying scene!

2. Mrs Genetics said...

Maybe he used a knife because gun laws worked to prevent an obviously troubled person from from acquiring firearms.

Irrelevant! The point is that the problem is the action, not the inanimate object. Determined (and disturbed) people will always find a way.

3. WR Moore said...

The UK has regulations on the size/shape of 'approved kitchen knives' – or whatever label they hang on them.

Ah, a solution to unemployment: train a corps of authorized/licensed kitchen utensil operators who will appear as requested to slice & dice as needed. No doubt unionized, so no late night snacks.

There ya go!

But I must note that the sun set on the UK a looooooooong time ago!
– Dean

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