The mass-shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 20 children and six adults dead, is an important opportunity to reconsider the role of both the media and gun control policy, New York Times columnist David Brooks argued on Friday.
Brooks, speaking on PBS’s “NewsHour,” suggested that people with certain mental health conditions should be denied access to guns, before urging the media not to inadvertently glorify the suspected shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza.
“I think it would be helpful in the media if we did not publicize these people, especially if they have committed suicide,” he said. “Don’t put them on the cover of magazines. Don’t put their faces on TV. Don’t release their names. I somehow think that would diminish some of the perverse heroism of them.”
Later in his appearance, Brooks added that, although Friday’s shooting likely won’t change public opinion on gun control in the long run, he favors strict gun control measures.
“These kinds of shootings historically have had no effect on public opinion in the gun debate,” Brooks said. “I think if we’re going to control guns, we really have to do it massive. I think I’m all for getting rid of the assault weapons and machine guns and all that … but if we want to prevent something like this, we have to really think seriously about drastically reducing the number of guns in our society, and particularly — this is an old Patrick Daniel Moynihan idea — the number of bullets. It is very hard to control 300 million guns. The bullets are a little easier to control.”