While we don’t usually offer an opinion or take a stand on news items I thought it necessary to make a comment or two on the shootings in Newtown, Conn. Our thoughts are with the family and friends whose loved ones died in the shootings. By now you’ve been more than inundated with news coverage from the scene. As a 30+ year member of the journalism community I know the kind of energy that this type of story sends through the newsroom. Careers can be made in these moments. Eyeballs are delivered to sponsors. Sophisticated gear is pressed into service to bring you “the whole story.” But speaking as someone who doesn’t have to please his news director or take the wants of the advertisers into account I submit my own take on the shooting spree.
There is more than enough speculation as to why these killings happened. There is the obligatory investigation. The background of the shooter is being viewed and reviewed. And of course television pundits are weighing in with their take, very often politically shaded, as to cause and possible prevention of such events in the future. What I’m offering here is not a reason for what happened. Rather, I ask that you consider some unavoidable realities that are being glossed over by your news agencies- and that practice could be tilling the soil for more of these outbreaks in the future.
Pumped Up Kids
First, the shooter was said to be on medication. This is hardly news. Consider this from Conscious Life News:
Fact: At least fourteen recent school shootings were committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 109 wounded and 58 killed (in other school shootings, information about their drug use was never made public—neither confirming or refuting if they were under the influence of prescribed drugs.
Now tell me the last time you saw your favorite network television coverage concentrated on the testing and administration of psychiatric drugs, or in any area of the pharmaceutical realm. Oh sure, wide-eyed anchors will give lip service to this practice but any news official with his or her head screwed on knows that going down that road could lead to loss of advertising dollars. And, that is a career KILLER in any news organization. Years ago I was approached by my editor at a Group W radio station to do a story on parent company Westinghouse. It seems that Westy was being tied to the delivery of some faulty goods to a Middle Eastern country. The Westinghouse corporate offices were located directly accross the street from where I was working- I could stare into the building’s lobby while sitting at my keyboard. Do ya’ think I jumped at doing that story? Americans like to be plugged into the news and advertisers know that. They are dictating much of the country’s thought in subtle and not so subtle ways.
Take One of These
Another missing talking point is the possiblity of a mis-diagnosis in the shooter’s (or any killer’s) condition. Every situation is dealt with on a prescription pad. And why not? The old paradigm suggests that there’s nothing that a pill can’t cure. Like the broadcast industry there’s plenty of pressure here too since the society seems to buy into the “medicate to eliminate” line of thought.
Death Becomes Us
Finally, there’s no shortage of arguments on guns- should they be banned? Should there be tighter restrictions? These lines are not meant to discuss guns or gun control. In fact, guns themselves don’t lie at the heart of what’s happened here. Look at statistics, and go back as far as you like. The USA is a very violent society. But, murderous rampages are an outgrowth of a violent collective consciousness. We worship combat in every form, from games to movies to wardrobe. We condone perpetual war with the knowledge that our technology can “kick anyone’s butt.” I live in one of the military airshow hotbeds, and I’m often made uneasy by people’s salivating over the display of the latest airborne killing machines. This is not to say that there isn’t a place for vigilance and preparedness. But we seem to have cultivated a casual approach to the possiblity of death on a mass scale. This seems especially true when we turn our eyes to other areas of the world. How do we prepare our children for admission to this world? We get them hyped up on sugar, then bring them down on drugs.
Bless Us, EVERY One
So, do send your best energy to the people of Newtown. Take a moment to remember the dead of Newtown. And, do a consciousness search as you remember the dead children and mourning parents in: