The Wright Response: May 24, 2018

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The tragedy in Santa Fe is just sickening. And – pardon me while I turn maybe a little radical in this segment. I get a lot of compliments and feedback about my ability to address issues without getting angry, political-correctness as some call it. This likely isn’t one of those days. I received several notes from viewers, some blaming the media because stations like KBTX report the name and show the face of the shooter. Notice, I wasn’t P.C. in that last sentence. I didn’t do the “news thing” and say “alleged.” He confessed, was seen firing at officers, and had the gun in his hand when taken down. P.C. is part of the problem, small, but part of it. B.B. wrote in with some thought-provoking ideas:

“Yesterday KBTX covered the Santa Fe school shooting and I noticed that, as has happened when reporting other shootings, the shooter's name and face were broadcasted/included in an online article. There has recently been a push from news outlets, such as the Daily Wire, to stop posting pictures and names of school shooters and mass murderers in an effort to stop encouraging these attacks. These people can be motivated by media attention to push their causes or to give themselves glory. I was hoping KBTX could reconsider posting names and photos of these people. These events need to be reported but I believe this would be regarded by most viewers to be a sensible move. I believe that if more news outlets stopped giving these people attention and focused more on the victims of attacks and acts of heroism, that there may be a decline in these tragedies.”

First, I tend to agree with B.B. on this. I’ve rolled around in my head many times some alternatives. Fact is, I’m pretty confident people will read any research they can get on the accused killer. We all have a bit of that “National Enquirer” in us. There will always be a media outlet that runs pictures and every detail they can find on a killer like the coward in Santa Fe. For KBTX – what I might advocate for and LIKE to see is simply the age, the sex of the individual, and if they had any history with the school or organization they chose to shoot-up. No name, no picture.

Here’s where I get totally off the rails and will subject myself to all sorts of ridicule and feedback. At this point, we’re talking too much about WHAT to do and doing nothing. Politicians offer “thoughts and prayers,” but they took prayers out of schools a long time ago. We seem too concerned with making sure everyone experiences “due process,” and so do I, most of the time. But students or victims of these shootings don’t get due process. Maybe rather than blaming the media, we should show video of the perpetrator not getting out alive. Maybe seeing THAT, as disturbing as it would be, would send a message: you go off and commit murder, you don’t come out alive. If ONE school shooting is stopped because of that? – is it worth it? I think so.

And to at least discourage young people from doing this – parents, if you have guns like that in the house, lock em up. Pay attention to what your kids are doing on-line, who they are hanging with, and yes – the clothes they are wearing. More on this topic, I’m sure, in the days and weeks ahead. Hopefully, action – and less talk.

A few thank you’s to mention. Thanks to the Boys and Girls Club Steak and Shake dinner, the Community Foundation annual luncheon, honoring philanthropic people in our community. Scotty’s House “great American Steak Out,” where over 800 gathered at Coulter Field, and to the Brazos Valley Symphony and Derby Days – all for having me as emcee of these events. Congrats to Derby Days for crossing the $1 million mark for money raised over the years, quite an accomplishment.

Be in touch anytime, your opinion – no matter what – it matters to KBTX News 3.

Email Mike Wright at wright@kbtx.com.