As I contemplate the usual banal but awful news, a gun nut drops in to taunt

We cry
Pittsburgh in mourning after mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Photo by Governor Tom Wolf’s office.

An email from a death merchants’ publicist and a response

Hi Eric,

Mass shootings are truly tragic events, but if you were a media company, the sad truth is you don’t let a disaster go without running it throughout the 24-hour news cycle we have today. Why is it that everyone remembers the names of the shooters but not the victims?

I noticed you mentioned Dylan Roof on The Panama News specifically right here: while I was doing some research on the topic and I thought you might be interested in sharing our article we wrote [If it bleeds it leads].

One of the things I think is most critical for us to understand, is that all media companies are driven by one thing only. Money. The more viewers they have the more ads they can get in front of us. And even though these companies KNOW that mass shootings can be “contagious” they still choose to show the faces and display the names of shooter and publicize the event as much as they are capable of doing.

I understand this is a complicated issue and in the article we definitely try to be partisan on a delicate topic like this. I don’t think there is one easy solution here, but simply doing nothing and letting these companies profit off mass shootings seems morally reprehensible to me. Happy to hear your thoughts and you’re welcome to share our article.

No worries if this isn’t something you are interested in sharing, it was still a pleasure to make your (virtual) acquaintance and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

~ ~ ~


How you death merchants presume.

Once upon a time the area around my house was turned into something approaching war zone, and we had to be evacuated in the middle of the night. A friend of my father gave him a semi-automatic rifle “to protect the family.”

About a year and a half later, I saw my father for the last time. He was pointing that rifle at me. When I and everyone else had been chased out of the house, he shot himself to death with it. By that time I was running, half-dressed and barefoot and totally panicked, through the jungle. I was 12 years old.

But I am sure that someone in your line of business made money off of his death and my trauma.


The Panama News
a US-Panamanian dual citizen living in Panama who as an American votes in Ypsilanti, Michigan


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