Friday, July 27, 2012
Non-Firearm Mass Murders
Slate has an article about "Going Postal, Pre-Pistol" pointing out that mass murder is something that doesn't require guns, and guns aren't even the big advantage that everyone assumes. But what disappoints me is that they don't mention two of the biggest mass murders in American history that were largely ignored by the national media because they did not advance the gun control agenda. December of 1987 (96 murdered by Hector Escudero in Puerto Rico) and April 1990 (87 murdered by Julio Gonzalez in New York City). But because both were arson murderers, the mainstream media largely ignored these crimes. My 1993 Journal of Mass Media Ethics paper, which has been getting a bit of attention of late, points out that Time and Newsweek, on a dead bodies per square inch basis, gave these crimes almost no attention. Newsweek didn't even cover the Gonzalez murders--but they spent enormous space covering mass murders with far fewer deaths, because the goal was gun control.