By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
The images, the videos, the 911 calls and the tweets following the mass murders in an Aurora Colorado movie theater July 20 may have faded from our memories by now, a week after the carnage. Well, sort of.
How could any rational human being not be shaken to their very core, dumfounded and angered over the deranged actions of a very disturbed man. These days, like with wars, terrorist attacks and natural disasters, we don’t read about it or learn what happened after the fact. We grasp it in real time.
These questions have been on my mind since I learned of the shootings just over a week ago.
1. What can effective public relations — for gun control or at least reforms to current laws — do to help prevent this from happening again? Within this blog, I’ve posed that question following tragedies like the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and the tsunami in Japan last year. Not sure of the answer, but I remain steadfast in my beliefs that only through open disclosure of information, dialogue and an exchange of ideas can we begin to find the answer.
2. Why do major media outlets seek comments from sources who have no experience or credentials in law enforcement or criminal justice following horrific events like the Aurora murders? The case in point was an interview with Ted Nugent, a man who name for himself playing rock music (and not very good or memorable music, in my opinion). Nugent has been on camera many times before to espouse his beliefs that every law-abiding American has the right to carry and use a concealed weapon; he maintains the loss of life and injuries would have been less if a movie-goer had and used a loaded weapon. This kind of journalism is pandering; it should be halted, especially in the wake of mass murder.
3. Are we becoming somewhat desensitized when we learn of murders like those that took place in Colorado due to the fact technology allows us to virtually witness many details, sometimes right when they happen? Before the 24-hour news cycle, “citizen journalism” and social media platforms, we had to switch on the radio, wait for the TV evening news or read the morning newspaper to get an account of what took place. No more; we get the news — warts and all — any time we want it.
Your thoughts on the three questions above are most welcomed. Do you have answers or opinions?