From the first day of the Ohio Shootings in April, the news has given them national press and continues to do so, yet from the first days of the Oklahoma Stabbings in July, the news has given them virtually no national press. (Have you even heard of them? Two teen boys killed both of their parents and three of their siblings, stabbing them dozens of times, leaving two more siblings alive, though one was seriously injured.) Are there strict orders to pump up shootings and not stabbings? Is something more sinister going on? Perhaps it’s simply that the gunman was (and still is) on the loose in Ohio, but even the pictures of the scenes seem fundamentally different: while Oklahoma has a closeness and poignant tragedy to it, with body bags (above), ambulances-in-no-hurry and visibly horrified investigators assessing bloodstains on the sidewalk, the Ohio Shootings seem to have none of that (below).
I don’t know for sure why these two stories are treated so differently, but I would point out that one of them serves an agenda and the other doesn’t. In any case, I predict we will continue to hear little if anything about the Oklahoma Stabbings, but that there will be a Part II of the Ohio Shootings in which the public will be treated to a profile of the shooter that also promotes an agenda, whether simply to vilify one stereotype or another, to demonstrate the evil of guns or the reality of terrorism here at home–perhaps even domestic terrorism–whatever we are told, rest assured, it will be carefully spun by those telling the story. (One theme that is emerging is that this may have had to do with a pot operation–perhaps it will be used to continue to corporatize pot and refocus the drug war on heroin and perhaps subsidize the rehab industry…We shall see!)
Perhaps I’m jaded, but every time I hear of another mass shooting, I can’t help recalling the Mother Jones data set I spent some time on which shows that mass shootings have shot up a significant and statistically-curious amount under Obama–another fact which gets little press, though it did get some. Again, are the details of the events spun to pad the stats, or is there something more sinister–or at least more deceitful–happening? I’ve given up on trying to figure out what’s really going on, but I just can’t help wondering.
For more pictures of the Oklahoma crime scene, click here. For more pictures of the Ohio crime scene, click here. For more on the story of the Oklahoma Stabbings, click here. For more on the story of the Ohio Shootings, click here.