Back at the old Revolution and Beer show I came to the conclusion that since America seems to have as much intention of rationally addressing gun violence as monkey’s have for flinging their own crap, it seems that Mass shootings have become a form of entertainment. Since movies, theatre, music and television all have their own form of ratings, why shouldn’t America’s newest favorite pastime? It really started some years ago with a History Channel program called “Shootout” that lavishly recreated gun battles between cops and crooks, with commercial interruptions, so you could grab a Fresca and some corn chips, and use the bathroom to make it back without missing a single moment of exciting mayhem. Rather than stars or even predictable bullets in our Mass Shooting Rating System(MSRS), however, I’m thinking something like Intravenous bags, or more simply, IVs. And, lets make it really interesting. Instead of 5 IVs winning top spot, we can really break it down with a top rating of 10.
The criteria needs to be tough. Obviously body count is critical, but we also need to take in other important entertainment factors. For example, what type of gun(s). Did the shooter off himself, and what about gender? There aren’t many mass female killers. That could up the ratings. Should an act of mass slaughter be as highly rated as a lone crazy guy, or should the MSRS ignore altogether rightwing white shooters espousing a supremacist ideology much like the rest of the media? Hmm, that’s a great question. Video is important as well? Also, for the white guy shooters, how quickly we get the crazy eyes Facebook or school photo. As for coverage? That should depend on whether it is considered breaking news, with helicopters, lockdowns and multiple national network coverage, or if its one of those stories you ignore on your internet homepage.
For example, the San Bernardino shooting had a great final shootout with big, sexy guns, a man hunt, and a Rambo-style mass shooting at a Christmas Party, and the victims worked for the evil government. There was controversy, wall to wall team media coverage, helicopters and FBI guys in scuba gear looking for evidence in a pond. No video of the actual shooting, which hurts the overall rating a bit, but the video of survivors emerging with hands on their heads like criminals through ranks of armed cops helps. That gets rating of 7 IVs. This one would have been an 8 easily, except the shooters were Muslims, despite being a husband and wife team. If they had been connected by marriage or lived in the same neighborhood with the old Occupy movement, Black Lives Matter movement or had been upset about attacks on Planned Parenthood, this would have garnered 9 IVs.
For contrast, yesterday The Washington Post ran a story titled, “Murder in ‘The Jungle’: Deadly mass shooting at Seattle homeless camp deepens crisis.” Tuesday night 2 people were killed and three wounded, but the victims were homeless. There was no video and was over before police arrived. Discussing the epidemic of homelessness as the nation’s economic system becomes more predatory, enlisting a co-opted and corporately drained government to become less responsive to struggling people is a distraction from properly rating the shooting. This would be at the low end for entertainment value. Worse, the gunman selfishly used a simple hand gun. The Seattle shooting gets only a 3 on the IV scale.
Shootings have tapered off since San Bernardino, but America will bounce back. Gun violence is the 21st Century’s new form of entertainment. If we could just find a way to get some naked boobs, a good love interest and some corporate sponsor ships other than the NRA, Smith and Wesson or Ruger, then we’d really have something!
WC Turck is the author of more than a dozen books. He is an artist, critically acclaimed playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His latest book “<em><strong>A Tragic Fate:</strong> is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17</em>.” His first novel, “<strong>Broken</strong>” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “<strong>Everything for Love</strong>,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “<strong>Occupy my Heart</strong>” and “<strong>The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden</strong>.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He hosts “<strong>Helter Skelter</strong>” a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics on Que4 radio in Chicago. he is also an organizing board member of Chicago’s only community radio station dedicated to supporting diversity in media. Turck also hosted Revolution and Beer, with co-host Brian Murray, a weekly TV and radio show. He has been featured on radio, television and newpapers across the country, including The Thom Hartmann Show, WLS, WCPT, The Grant Cordone program, NPR, the Chicago Tribune and more. Turck also has nearly two decades experience in the airline industry, working for both Lufthansa and United Airlines. He is also an expert in Balkan and European History, Nationalism, PTSD and Issues of Genocide and Racism. For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit http://www.wcturckhelterskelter.wordpress.com</em>