Gun Crime in America – One Man’s Analysis

The modern press want us to believe that it is a free, adaptive and resilient press core that report on issues that fall into the category of public interest. They want us to accept that they work diligently on behalf of their public readers, and keep us informed of stuff that is of key interest to the people, gives light to subject matter that would prompt debate, and inform others of key motions, opinion and the stuff going on around us that is going to help to change public opinion or create new perceptions or ideas to flow. This is the ideal world that the press wants us to believe they provide us right?

So why then did I have to find out about a key public address made in a special session of the US Congress, to key leaders of the US Administration that are currently looking for ways to change guns laws, through a post on FaceBook?

I found this article really interesting, and very informative, more so because I struck me that coverage of this speech failed to make public coverage in any of the press that I could find, yet the ideas presented resonated with me, and I am sure thousands of others.

The reality here? If what your saying does not fit with what the Leaders of our Nation are saying, if it does not suit the agenda of the Press Core, if it is the truth, and nothing but the pure unadulterated truth, then the people that apparently matter are not interested. Shame on them!

Here is the content of the speech I speak of.

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Guess our national leaders didn’t expect this. On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.

They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the transcript:

“Since the dawn of creation there has been both good &evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

“The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart.

“In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy — it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage,
You’ve outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question “Why?”
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!

“Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact.

What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs — politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws.

Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

“As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America , and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him.

To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA — I give to you a sincere challenge.. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!

My daughter’s death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!”
– Darrell Scott

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” – John 8.32

Please do what the media and the US Government have failed to do. Pass this on. Tell your friends and family to check it out, it is well worth consideration and our time to ponder it.

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The Black Shadow of the British Press

When it comes to reporting the British Press have perfected the art of bearing all in the national interest. The biggest question I believe lies in what is really in our interest, and what is to our detriment.

The Leveson Inquiry is sitting right now to try and establish the scale of the blame that falls at the feet of the press when it comes to standards of professionalism. It is interesting to note that while the world focuses its attention on the role that the press have played in eves dropping on the lives of the rich and famous, those that have become unwilling stars in the media spot light or the people whose lives have become the focus of national interest, I have to wonder why no one is asking to what extent the press actually keep us informed for the best interest.

Allow me to demonstrate my argument. Anyone who has done a business class at school, college or in university is taught that when you enter into a negotiation you keep your cards close to your chest. It is basis common sense that when you sit down to win a contract, get a job, buy a house, you never let the other side know everything about your position. If half the companies that deal with each other knew the truth of their potential partners position, the multimillion dollar deals that keep the world turning would never happen.

If half the employers around the world knew the real truth about you and me, they’d never employ anyone. If when you went to buy a house, the potential buyer knew your true intentions for your purchase, would they be so readily willing to complete the deal?

No, the truth is that you keep your weaknesses hidden, you keep the illusion of ability firmly in your favour, and you work to create an impression of ability or capability as the case may require. In this way you win the contract, get the job or close the deal on your new house.

So why the hell would the British Press take such great pleasure in advertising to the world that Britain is very much in reality on its last legs? It is strange to me that in this hour of need, when the reality is that we should really be pulling together in the national interest to try and win credibility and respect for Brand Britain, we are so readily willing to sit by and watch the press sell our nation down the drain.

Mr Cameron went to the Brussels summit last week severely handicapped as he sort to strike the best deal possible for Britain. How the hell could we seriously expect France or Germany to take us seriously when all they had to do was watch British telly to see clearly how desperate the British economy are for European stability? Can we even begin to realistically expect a good result when we’ve shot ourselves in the foot by openly admitting that without European partnerships we are finished?

It’s little wonder why Mr Cameron was ignored. He’s sat at the table fighting to get the best for Britain when everyone around the same table knows that he’s got nothing to offer. The city of London was once the financial power house of the world. In these trying times it would seem only right that we strive to keep that attention focused on the FSTE stock exchange.

There was a time when if it was on the FTSE, Dow Jones, or the Kikkei stock markets, then it was a mark of stability, strength and reliability. I agree that the banks were allowed to take stupid risks and bring the world to the brink of a global depression, but that ability to create a world of plastic credit was driven by our greed and consumerism.

Fifty years ago if you wanted it, you saved up until you could afford it. In the 21st Century if you want it you put it on plastic. It is that desire of ‘I want it and I want it now’ that gave the banks the green light to create this world of intangible debt. We knew through the media in 2005 that the debt ceiling was rapidly approaching One Trillion pounds. Did we slow down?

The press were quick to shout to the world that Northern Rock was in difficulties causing a run on a British bank for the first time in a hundred years. There was evidence that the treasury were already aware of the situation and had realised it would need to step in to save the bank, so was it really in the best interests of the nation to create the hype in the media that attributed to the run on the bank?

The press are seasoned veterans at creating a villain out of a criminal. Ok let’s not forget that criminals are a scourge on society to that I agree. They damage society and wreak havoc on innocent individuals. They cost our society an stupid amount of money in the costs associated with Law and Order. They are in very simple terms exactly what the press would paint them as, villains.

My issue here lies in two concerns with the attention that the press give to criminal activities. Since time in record, mankind has had a fascination with crime, death and punishment of criminals. So it is little wonder that when a crime is committed, the press scramble to sensationalise the affair. However how often do the press stop to consider the impact of their reporting on the people whose lives are affected by the actions of the criminal, but are not the focus of the media’s attention.

Criminals have families. In some cases the whole family are effected by a criminality and there is little cause for concern. But in the majority of cases, the families are just as innocent as the victim of the crime. Yet they are forced to see the content of their lives, home, family pulled apart in the eye of the national tabloids.

News report after news report we are reminded in vivid terms of the sordid details of the crime as the press scramble to make every report as juicy and controversial as possible. My question lies here. What impact does the incessant attention on a crime have on the wider families and friends of the criminal and victim? How many lives are ruined forever by association with someone that they have no option to be associated with?

In point of case, the Raoul Moat incident. What about the family of Raoul Moat, who have committed no crime, are not associated with the preparation or criminalisation of the man, but forever have to now live with the vivid portrayal of a disturbed and unbalanced man. Let’s look at the victim’s families. The family of his girlfriend will forever be haunted by the graphic images on her murder through the lenses of a news camera.

Or the family life of the police officer who was shot. We are now aware that the officer was recently arrested for allegedly beating up his wife. Was that as a result of the continuous reminder through the media of his nightmare? How is a family, a victim or those associated with the people affected meant to get on with their lives when there is a consistent habit of rehashing things through the media?

What is the long term effect of this media attention on people’s lives? Is it really necessary to delve so deeply into the lives of people and dissect, analyse, report on every speculation, suspicion, theory or rumour pertaining to a news story? What is reporting the news, and sensationalising the news really all about? What is it really in the public’s best interest to know? How much is too much?

Freedom of the press is a freedom that is given attached to great responsibility. The press should be an arm of service to the national interest, and it should be governed with a view of humility and a duty of care. The press should be a source of enrichment to our lives, a reliable deliverer of information that enhances our society, keeps us informed and builds unity in our communities. Disinformation is a disservice to our country. Being so fixated on reporting every little thing ultimately hurts our nation’s ability to be strong. There is a fine line between too little and too much, and it is at the heart of journalism to tread this line careful consideration to the impact of a news item. I can only hope that one of the outcomes of the Leveson enquiry is that the press come to realise that they have lost sight of their role in society and make measures to reform. Right now the attitude of the press is incorrigible. The time to break that cycle of stubborn resistance to change is now. The press can become a tool for powerful good in Britain. It’s up to us to see that we force the establishment to see reason and take action today.

Blood on the hands of our Media


I have watched the latest press coverage of the Haitian earthquake with some irritation at the sheer lack of responsibility with which our modern press portray national emergencies. In writing this post I do not in any way want to take anything away from the pain and suffering of the Haitian people, nor the impact of what they have had to endure and go through since the disaster struck their homeland just a few short days ago. To them my condolences and respect I give gladly. I do however want to put a bit of perspective into our minds of this world that we live in and the irresponsibility of the international media in focusing our attention at things they feel or deem important enough to make the new, and corrupt our minds into forgetting what we cannot or no longer see.

My feeling of discontent at the direction of the British press core in Haiti had been felt from the start, when almost immediately they began to look for blame at the lack of support from the international community at reacting to this disaster. With all the good will in the world, there are logistical and monetary issues that face the entire world at this moment in time that would mean any response would have been met by this problem. I am struck at this time at the audacity of the British press in demanding that the USA do more and look to blame them for security issues on the ground that make distribution of AID a headache for everyone, not least the US.

What disturbs me the most is that while we appreciate that the US and Europe, and much of the world have been gripped in the worst economic disaster for the last twenty four months, that it is once more to the Western world, namely the US and Europe that the victims of this disaster look too for their salvation. Why I ask myself are the British media not asking why more has not been done by the Asian community, whom have we are told, completely avoided the economic crisis that has befallen most of the modern world. Surely in a time such as this it is into their pockets that they should be dipping, and surely in a time like this their military might could have been swung into action and flown in just as easily as US troops.

Ok, fair enough, distance might prose its own practical issues to this argument, however I am sorry but I am sick and tired of hearing people blame the US and the West for its lack of support and delay at getting help in. Since as far back as the great earthquake that levelled the centre of Mexico City, I have heard disaster appeal after disaster appeal go out to the giving and generous people of Great Britain, and every time they have risen up and met the call. Billions of pounds of money has been risen over time for all manner of disaster appeals. In the same way I have never seen America fail to step up to the plate and deliver, even when it cannot really afford to itself, it has never let the greater world down.

Whenever it is a disaster around the world, it is always the same people and countries that time after time reach out and touch the lives of those who have been dealt a devastating blow. Be it the earth quakes in Pakistan, China, India, Indonesia, Iran and many others around the world, or the Boxing day Tsunami, or the famines of Africa, Hurricanes of the Gulf of Mexico, to almost any kind of human suffering, the press make a good job of showing us the vivid impacts of these disasters, emoting us into action, and demanding reaction and support from the same corner every single time. Never before have I heard the press condemn the Chinese or the Russians for the lack of support or assistance.

I have to ask myself as the seats of power swing in other directions as things change in our world today, if things shouldn’t be slightly different. I cannot help but feel that if AID workers had been rushed into the field in Haiti and violence had broken out resulting in the deaths of AID workers, that the press would have been the first to ask why security had not been organised, and press long and hard for heads to roll to satisfy their ill placed passion with pointing a figure and finding blame.

The main reason that I write this evening is that in my own opinion, I feel that the press themselves are the root cause of much of the blame for inciting and creating a news that they feel is sensational and worthy of hitting our screens. I firmly believe that the press go out specifically looking for stories that they are able to twist and manipulate into witch hunts of blame and fault and hatred. Imagine a reporter stood before you, well clothed, well educated, healthy and well fed, at a time when you have lost family and loved ones, at a time when hunger is a pressing issue on your mind as your stomach gnaws within you. Imagine if you can a man who seems to be in charge at a time you feel the world around you is falling at your feet, presenting you with a question like, “Do you feel that the USA should do more to help you?” What do you really think your answer would be?

This evening as I sat watching the ITV evening news, the straw on the camel’s back finally broke for me. I sat and watched as the news teams jumped on a story of the thousands of children caught up in the confusion of Haiti, rushing to sensationalise how it was children now who were starving and suffering the worst as AID failed to reach Haiti. I was angered and sickened at this gross display of pure irresponsibility on the part of the reporters. I was saddened to think that for one moment in time, the suffering of every child anywhere else in the world meant nothing as these reporters could manipulate and emote its watchers to the plight of the children of Haiti.

It is not that I do not feel for those children, but I was sickened to my stomach as I thought to myself, that in a day, week or month, when they have totally thrashed and exhausted everything that they can out of the Haitian disaster that those children that today were so credible as a news story will be forgotten about, and left to fend for themselves just as much then as they are now, while the spot light falls on them in the aftermath of this disaster. Yes I was angered at the way that our so called perfect press would stoop so low as to use children’s suffering to make its news worthy for our screens tonight, when in a year or two’s time, when the AID given now dries up and the world is focused on the next big news story, those very children that the press were so willing to sensationalise tonight will be forgotten about and left to a life of misery and pain.

Could it be so true in this day and age that our press could be so corrupt and work with such scant regard for human life and suffering? Please, wake up. This is 2010. Think if you will of the orphans of Eastern Europe where children have systematically been abused, abandoned and brought up in some of the most extreme conditions imaginable. Children who were gagged to stop them from crying, children who were left without clothing for months. Children who were starved and abandoned because they had birth defects, or were slow or stupid as the institutions of the Soviet state believed. Orphanages in the Ukraine where if you had enough money you could go and buy time with any child you liked. In their time, they were an adequate news story to shock and sensationalise the news we were watching, but today, the British press couldn’t give a damn about the conditions which according to any number of agencies that are working with organisations based in Eastern Europe are just as bad if not worse in some places.

Then there are those who’ve been orphaned by war. Huge blocks of children brought up by the state in places in Europe where the press dare not tread for fear of being beaten like the thugs they are. Chechnya and the Balkans, Rwanda and Brunei, Congo and Uganda. In these places millions of children have been completely left to their own devices. In many of the African conflicts children fell into war lords clutches and we fashioned into armies of little value, put on the front line to be slaughtered till the enemy ran out of ammunition and the elite forces of the war lord could then sweep in an annihilate their enemy. Are we as a society so dull as to imagine that the moment that the press stopped telling us these stories that the problems went away? Visit Africa today. Take a walk around in Darfur right now and look at how many of the rebel soldiers carrying AK47’s are kids of 13 and 14 years of age, high on marijuana to keep them controllable, and ever ready to die for their precious leader who cares not for anything but his position in power and maintaining it behind his army of children for as long as he can.

Could we believe that those children that were shown to us just last year as the Burmese cyclone wiped out half a nation as unprecedented flooding brought the country to its knees? I recall then how loudly the press shouted about the lack of AID given, despite the military junta’s refusal to allow the AID in. But in the press’s eyes, it was far more sensational to blame the international world for the failure, and show the suffering of the people, children, men and woman alike, while they painted a vivid picture about how inept the leaders of the world were at putting pressure on the government of Burma to allow the AID in. Do any of us pretend now that since our esteemed press core choose no longer to tell us of their suffering that the people of Burma have it any easier? The truth is that the military Junta kept the aid that was allowed into the country for itself, and the people continue to suffer as they struggle to rebuild a life shattered in the waters of that cyclone. But that wouldn’t be a very exciting story, and report it as they might, it would not change the status quo, nor make any difference to the people on the ground, so they are left to suffer, as sensationalising that story and emoting us would be futile and worthless, and so the story is now not news worthy.

For far too long the media have reported with scant regard to the effect of such sensationalism in the press. Let us take for example a few years ago right here in Wales. An area close to where I live became known as Lynch Rope Central or Suicide Alley, as a growing number of teenagers fought to get their name on the headline news through acts of suicide. For a bunch of teenagers it became cool and hip to get your name and story on the news, and have everyone talking about how wonderful you were and for a moment in time your name was a celebrity as the media pounced on the news of “WOW, yet ANOTHER suicide victim in Bridgend and the number of teenage suicides goes up in the town! Police are baffled as they fail to find any link!”
The link was you, you idiots! The very press who didn’t even consider for one moment that your actions were the root cause and reason for such an sudden growth in teenage deaths. Right up to the end the press fought a vicious and costly campaign to maintain that they were whiter than white and had a right to report the news. It eventually took a direct order and “agreement” from the press to stop reporting on teenage suicides in the town, before the war was won, and what happened? The moment that kids realised that their stupidity wasn’t going to get them on the national news, none of their mates were going to get interviewed, no one would talk about how wonderful they were, it stopped. And so it was that the mighty body of the press right here in deepest darkest Wales were taught a lesson. That their lack of foresight and sensationalism of one simple act of stupidity on behalf of one teenager who now lies in a box, six feet under, and whose name is probably forgotten by the very reporter that sensationalised his death, started a trend that took over twenty lives before it was forcibly stopped. This is the wreckless disregard for their reporting standards that I talk about when I say that the press don’t care. Today’s suffering doesn’t simply disappear because you stop talking about it, and reporting in this way is callous and wrong.

I am Zimbabwean, and a passionate one as anyone who knows me would agree, and so as I watched the television last night, and saw them walking among the orphans of Haiti, I was angered. Perhaps in reality my anger towards the failure of the press core has a lot to do with the situation in Zimbabwe. You see, Zimbabwe has to daily deal with over 2.1 million orphans, who have little in the way of assistance to survive. Those agencies on the ground in Zimbabwe are given little in assistance by the world to feed, cloth, educate, provide health and safety to these children. Many live on the streets, fending for themselves. Many are cared for by people who have other uses and ideas in mind for them. Many are abused and mistreated. Most of them have little future if any. Today 1 million Haitian children need our help. So does that mean that 2.1 million Zimbabwean children today are no good to care about? Does that mean that those trying desperately to make a difference for these kids in Zimbabwe, don ‘t need anything today, because your attention is now focused somewhere else where you can sensationalise your story and make the world watch your news coverage? No the reality is that you’ll make your millions out of covering this disaster and forget about the plight of those children just as quickly as you forgot about those in Zimbabwe. You see Mr. Reporter, power lies in your hands. Responsible reporting would be to continually apply pressure, to constantly remind the world and keep those vulnerable and in precious need of help daily in the front line of your reporting. Not just when you need numbers to watch your program or buy your rag.

And it is for this reason that I am sickened when I hear our reporters on a front line trying to make out that nowhere else in the world are their people suffering, because now their story is no longer applicable or exciting to you as a reporter. Such irresponsibility would be subjected to a government being removed from power, or department heads being changed were it a different organisation, and they acted in such a manner. News is news, but exploiting those who befall the news, and making their suffering and hardship the centre of attention of your news for the simple demand of ratings or sales is both disgusting and scandalous. It is high time that reporting became more about the story and less about the visual impact and sensationalism of preying on those unable to protect themselves. I hope in time that our generation become more in tune with people’s feelings and less interested in such diabolical reporting.