By Tom Adessa
As a parent and grandparent it would be my worst experience to lose a child/grandchild in any way. The grief and anguish on the faces of parents in Florida on 2/14/18 was gut wrenching and yet in the midst of their grief these parents were preyed upon by another predator, the media. Circling like sharks for another story tidbit to attack, the media regurgitates every detail in minutiae and splits every hair four ways.
While I can understand that the parents of fallen students and surviving students are angry; the anger and fear they portray is how they feel and does nothing to solve any problems. After the initial shock their reaction was to lash out at the NRA and rail against them; once again I believe fueled by the media.
As the momentum grew during the week the media coverage turned its bias against politicians that have accepted campaign contributions from the NRA. The NRA is an organization that has its trappings and failings as do other organizations that have an agenda. The NRA has in its membership many members that current/retired military and law enforcement officers. These same veterans and LEO’s have in the past and to this day provide the security and freedom for people across the country including the students that are protesting.
The rank and file of the NRA also includes factory workers, trades people, doctors, lawyers and engineers and these same people have families with children in school. And yet the media fuels the fire of misguided information against the NRA giving credence to screaming people that state “The NRA has blood on its hands” and “No more Ar15’s.” On one local message board a person posted a comment that “the AR-15 was specifically designed to shred flesh and organs.” This further reinforces the media will give credence to almost any statement that someone comes up with to feed the flames of discord just for another story.
As the misinformation grows it becomes a snowball that is almost impossible to stop along with the emotions that go with it; when we operate out of anger or fear it is simply the way we feel and emotions cloud our judgement. When changes are made or legislation is passed based on feelings we end up with poor laws being passed and we often times live to regret it. In our system legislation should always be based upon dialogue, facts, debate and information; not as the result of a group of people being angry or having an agenda; that approach is nothing more than a “Hang Em High” mentality. A case in point would be the New York State SAFE Act, poorly crafted legislation that was crammed through by a Governor with aspirations for a higher office. In spite of the SAFE Act we still have a great deal of gun related crime in many NYS cities, in particular Syracuse, NY.
Around the country the media is covering a number of stories exposing politicians that have accepted money from the NRA and people are demanding they give it back. In 2016 there were roughly 60,000 deaths in the US due to drug overdoes and 38,000 deaths due firearms. A recent statistic from the FBI also stated that firearms deaths from all rifles totaled 374; hardly the AR-15 epidemic that we are supposed to be experiencing. Recent figures also state that drug companies donated over $13,000,000 to members of Congress and over $5,300,000 to members of the Senate. Given the numbers of deaths due to drugs and the anguish those deaths cause where is the continuing coverage by the media? At least a large portion of those deaths are youths that had their lives snuffed out also; perhaps not in such a violent manner but deceased just the same. Aren’t the parents, brothers, sisters and grandparents of those kids suffering too? Didn’t those that died from drugs have their lives, dreams and goals ahead of them also?
As I watched TV today I had to turn it off; a national news station was rehashing the events of the past two weeks without adding any substance to the narrative. When will the media pursue the money trail of Big Pharma companies that contribute to politicians with the same rabid fervor in which they have pursued the NRA and law abiding gun owners? Or isn’t there enough gore in streets to satisfy their own blood lust for another news clip?
Tom Adessa resides in Central New York, he is a LEO, an avid lover of the outdoors and passionate about handgun shooting.