Aug. 3, 2011
Once again, theMSMmainstream mediais giving us an anniversary better left unnoted. This time, theyre telling us that on this day 45 years ago, a lone shooter climbed up into the Tower at the University of Texas in Austin and began randomly shooting at students and visitors to that beautiful campus.
This is exactly what our friends in theMSMshould not do. They should know this by now. Do we want more mass murders, like the recent bloody episode inNorway? Then go ahead and put the killers pictures on the covers of news magazines, publicize their names and their bloody deeds, show photos of their victims, provide timelines, print graphics of their bullets trajectories, and always, always show the grieving family members of their victims.
But if we want to stop this madness, we should listen to researchers who have studied suicide and mass killings. They know that contagion and suggestibility play a real role in sparking these events. They know, for instance, that when a single car accident claims the life of a famous movie actor or singer, there is a measurable increase in copy cat deaths that may well be hidden suicides.
No small part of the Hollywoodappeal of certain rebels without a cause is due to their premature deaths in circumstances that strongly suggest self-murder. In Europe, the author of Lhomme revolte--The Rebelwas widely believed to have done himself in.
Mass killers and suicides are closely aligned with assassins in their mindset. Serious studies of President Kennedys killer show him to have been a loser, a nobody, a Communist-inspired misfit who first tried to kill a right-wing army general. Only when he missed that shot did he reach for a perverse kind stardom by killing the hope that John F. Kennedy represented for millions.
John Wilkes Booth was different. He was no loser, and certainly not a nobody. He was as famous an actor in 1865Americaas Brad Pitt is today. But he wanted to live out the fantastic characters he portrayed on stage. After shooting the president at Fords Theater that dark and gloomy Good Friday night, he fled the scene. He tried to reachVirginia, a state still in rebellion. He expected a heros welcome there.
Booth had broken his leg jumping down from the presidential box. He had galloped out ofWashingtonjust ahead of War Sec. Edwin Stantons order to close all the bridges. Hiding out in the thick woods ofSouthern Maryland, Booth and his accomplice were cold, hungry, dirty. Still in intense pain, Booth begged for just one thing: newspapers.
Like the American idol he was, he hungered to see his name in the papers, to see how people were applauding his desperate act. Imagine his chagrin when he learned that even in Confederate Virginia, he was denounced as an ignoble coward, a vicious villain.
Bill Bennett, host of the Morning in America talk show, challenged NBC News several years ago. The suits at NBC decided to air the video made by the Virginia Tech shooter.
But we might have learned something from that video, the networks news editors protested. After they went ahead, broadcasting that video rant, Bennett asked if we were in any doubt the killer was mad at the world, and had paranoid delusions of persecution before subjecting the country, and especially the victims families, to that deranged mans harangue.
Bill Bennett is right. Lets not give them what they want. Ever.