A Strange Definition of Success…
For those without the patience to click through the links a precis on the alleged story:
1. Angry man takes a gun to restaurant to kill his ex-girlfriend.
2. After shooting his ex-girlfriend in the restaurant, man then goes to shoot up a theater.
3. Off-duty police officer at theater shoots shooter before he can go on shooting spree.
4. Media does not go into overdrive to report the case. therefore it’s a cover-up on how guns prevent shooting sprees.
Snopes has done a helpful job of marking out the facts in the case. Some of it is in dispute (for example, local media coverage suggests a couple other people were injured), but for this post I’m more interested in tackling how it’s presented, not in the details.
Almost all of the “media cover-up” narrative suggests that the presence of an armed interlocutor lead to a “successful” prevention of a mass shooting. This despite the fact that in the narrative (although not in fact) the shooter had already gotten the target of his aggression, and was simply out to cause additional carnage before going down.
Does this strike anyone else as an odd definition of success?
If the story had been accurate the shooter had gone in with the hope of killing his ex-girlfriend and succeeded. Inconvenient for the narrative being sold, easy access to a weapon could have been the factor that made this easier.
Crime statistics tell us that most murder victims know their killer. Being randomly slain by a rampaging lunatic makes up a very small proportion of killings.
Things could have taken a tragic turn for the young woman targeted by a jilted lover. It’s an odd definition of success where failing to prevent a murder and simply keeping collateral damage in check is considered a victory.