he notable stereotype of the media business’ seeming obsession with violence has long been in existence. The old saying “If it bleeds, it leads” hints at just the sort of seemingly single-minded fascination that journalists frequently face criticism for.
Such critiques inevitably must lead to the question of overcoverage. Is it possible that the frequent bloodshed, specifically related to gun violence, is so frequently broadcast, printed and posted that it is saturating to a point of desensitization?
The Temple News does not believe this is the case, by the simple virtue that the riddle of gun violence has yet to be solved.
According to gunpolicy.org, there were 32,163 gun-related deaths in the United States in 2011, the most recent year data was readily available. More than 11,000 of those deaths were gun homicides. The yearly total of national gun homicides has not dipped below 10,000 since 1998.
The sheer numbers are almost incomprehensibly tragic.
The Temple News is not professing to have the answer to what can deter such death tolls in the future, merely to say that it is unacceptable.
Is the best solution harsher prison sentences for offenders of existing laws? Tighter regulations? More guns in the hands of lawful citizens? More comprehensive gun safety education? Whatever the answer is, it will be gleaned from open dialogue and honest national introspection.
It is the media’s role to ensure that those participating know the stakes. By attempting to maintain an informed citizenry on the state of gun laws and by consistently acting as a reminding force, the media is out to ensure that those who will be taking part in this national dialogue are prepared for the undertaking.
The Temple News wishes to do its part by reminding the student body of the tremendous role college students can play in this discussion. This is an issue that affects everyone regardless of age, level of education, race, gender, sexual preference or any other division people may draw. Everyone deserves a seat at the table for this dialogue, so passivity is a crime unto itself.