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Does excessive coverage of school shootings lead to excessive school shootinngs?


Gun violence, more specifically, school shootings in America have sparked much international concern in the arena of education. In 2022 alone, Americans have seen 46 school shootings that left 131 people killed or injured. People often debate about the proposed solutions to this problem, the most popular of which is gun reform. However, I wish to examine a facet of this problem that peers at an often overlooked aspect of why these shootings take place.

We often think that identifying a problem and being made aware of it is the first step to solving it. However, the case of America refutes this in a way. After all, there is no other country on earth where such vast discourse on guns takes place. Nowadays, almost every form of media entertainment (including a plethora of shows and songs) include something on the issue. I, personally, cannot count the number of times I have seen TV series that have whole episodes solely based on the theme of school shootings. Massive media campaigns can also be found with relative ease.

But perhaps, this awareness is, in a way, adding fuel to the fire. After all, the situation in America is not an active conflict, and the shooters are always children. They resort to these actions because they come from a position of unhappiness, loneliness, and discontentment, etc. These are isolated children who want to be seen and heard, and unfortunately, this is the best way they can come up with to get attention. In recent times, as school shootings have been tracked more extensively, it has been discovered that many perpetrators often cite the media coverage in the aftermath of a school shooting as the equivalent to being seen, something they had missed out on their whole lives.

Of course, this whole situation is quite different to the course content we’ve explored in the sense that we have often seen the issues of children in developing countries, and so, it is quite incomparable to those grass-root causes, effects, and consequences. While gun control would be beneficial (as can be witnessed by countries like Australia), it is important to identify this as one of the causes because ultimately, unhappy and troubled children spell doom for society (in the long run if not in the short run) and it should be the job of the education system to cater to these children, whether through psychological aid from an early age, or by other methods.

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