General Question

Strauss's avatar

Can we discuss "everyday" murders compared to high-profile shootings?

Asked by Strauss (20561points) July 11th, 2013

In 2012 there were many “high-profile” shootings: among them Sanford, FL 2/26/12 (1 fatality); Aurora, CO 7/20/12 (12); Brookfield WI 10/22/12 (3);Clackamas Town Center 2/11/12 (2); Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown CT 12/14/12(27); andNew York City fire Call 12/24/12 (4).

In the same year there were 1119 homicides reported in the three largest cities in the US: Chicago; New York (414, record low!) ; City of Los Angeles.

I will first state that any person killed, by a firearm, knife, bomb, or otherwise, is one person too many.

However, it seems that it is more likely that a fund of some sort will be set up for victims of “high profile” homicides than for the more “everyday” murders.

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4 Answers

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

I think everyone would agree that even one wrongful death is one too many. What makes some deaths more newsworthy than others? It might be the especially heinous, vicious, and shocking circumstances of the crime. It might also be the fame or notoriety of the decedent.

On the other side of the coin, people frequently perform kind, caring deeds, but few of them get reported on the evening news. It’s only when somebody does something very unusual and remarkable that the world takes notice. Stop, in the pouring rain, to help an elderly lady with a flat tire? You’ve done a wonderful thing and profoundly affected one life, but that’s the end of it. Jump into a lake to save a drowning child? People will remember you for years.

woodcutter's avatar

Some places like Chicago have a political machine churning away to attempt to make us look away from the obvious. Gang warfare is just not something any city wants to publicize for lots of reasons.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

The apparent differences are the result of the select attention/inattention given by the media to the event. “News” stations sell audience attention to their advertisers to make their profits. By giving much greater focus to the bizarre or extreme murders creates and maintains the attention of audiences.

Murders among gangs in city districts where such activity is all too frequent is a great tragedy that is given too little attention and too few efforts to deal with the underlying causes of gang participation and intregang warfare. The public gets quickly bored with recurring stories that seem too similar. The media limits or excludes attention to such occurences unless they rise to some level that makes them sensational. Sensational stories sells advertising time better than mundane stories.

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