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Media, please leave Newtown, CT December 17, 2012

Posted by makingyourdashcount in death, ohio, Ohio Legislation, Ohio Politics, Uncategorized.
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When my brother died in 2001, it was a media circus.  They called us; they followed us with cameras. Tragically, it was front page news. But, it was local news, not an international headline.  The reporters’ questions still haunt me.  Remembering how there were people coaching me how to answer still haunts me.  The TV cameras outside the funeral service still haunt me. Media are slobs with the only intent to scoop salicious headlines for their respective front pages and prime time news. They hounded our family heavily for the first week to month, then less often until they had jucier things on which to report. By the time that we could have used Adam’s death for a cause, the media was gone.  Obviously, causes do not get ratings.

When Sarah died, a news helicopter circled the cemetary, as we buried her. One close friend approached the cameras in the parking lot of the synagogue where the funeral was being held and in no uncertain terms asked them to leave. We granted interviews to two newspapers; one of whom really didn’t want the story as we saw it.  Media are slobs. At the point when we were ready to use her death for a cause, they were gone.  Obviously, that was not as interesting nor as important for ratings.

So here we are with an international headline and certified tragedy. CNN has barely reported on the fiscal cliff since it unveiled. At least one local affiliate, from Columbus, Ohio, went to Connecticut to cover the slaughter. Really? What value added can he lend other than to circle like all of the other hawks from every other non-local local affiliate. I can not even imagine the pressure placed on these families to talk with them. It disgusts me.

A local facebook page posted something along the lines of, “We stand with the parents and children of Newtown, Ct.”  Well of course we do.  Only a callous psychopath wouldn’t.  That is a given. Some say let the families grieve. This is the time for collective grief.  Although some disagree with me, I think that the appropriate response to this tragedy is action, to ensure that it can not happen again. The media should be concentrating on the action, not the personal grief of those personally affected. Because people’s interest will feign and no one will be interested in talking about what could have been.

Our governor has a bill on his desk that no longer makes it  a crime to bring guns to the Statehouse parking areas running beneath the Capitol and then left in the owners’ vehicles.

 As Senate President Tom Niehaus explained, “We have many members who participate in shooting events or are maybe coming from hunting or going hunting after session,” Niehaus said. “So the difficulty becomes if you are coming in from a shooting event and you have a weapon in your car, there is no way right now for you to be able to come into the Statehouse parking garage.”

Um… really?

As long as citizens allow this kind of ridiculous logic to permeate our statehouses and our Capitol, we will stay an at risk society.

We are collectively shaken by this tragedy, but for a small minority we do know these families.  Most of us do not even know families in Connecticut, let alone Newtown.  I think that people are more sighing collective relief because, although shocking,  it did not happen to them. It happened to someone else.

So, media, leave Newtown, CT.  Instead concentrate locally on what can be done. Let’s look at the legislation, action and societal pressures that allow something like this to happen and ensure that it cannot happen again.  Then we will truly be paying these children the homage due.

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