Monday, July 23, 2012

Obama Gets Something Right?

English: Frame from 1967 trailer for Bonnie an...
English: Frame from 1967 trailer for Bonnie and Clyde showing Beatty and Dunaway with "Faye Dunaway" in type onscreen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Obama meets with Colorado shooting victims’ families, refuses to utter suspect’s name"

In a rare instance, I think Obama got this one right. My theory of (mostly white) one-off mass murderers is that they do so for the notoriety; IOW they don't do it for the kill itself, but for the limelight that follows. I could be wrong -- just a theory.

My approach to mass murderers like Colorado what's-his-name would be not to ban guns but to ban media naming -- and not ban in the legal sense, but ban in the social constraint/convention sense. So, a guy shoots up a Colorado movie theatre? Fine. Nobody mentions his name or shows his picture. Ever. Maybe, just for the record, one reference using his initials only, as in the suspect, identified as I. A. Looser. This would apply to the subsequent court coverage as well.

I suspect that notoriety is the air these guys breathe.

Another aspect to this -- ironic in the face of the facts of this event -- is that the US glamorizes evil-doers and criminals. Yes, they do. Bonnie and Clyde. Scarface Malone. And, irony of irony, the primary vehicle for this glamorization is... movies.

Starve them of the oxygen of glamorization and notoriety and the motivation disappears.

Just a theory.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.
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Anon1152 said...

It's a theory that I think deserves some testing.

You should try to get funding for a sociological/criminological study.

RkBall said...

OK, but I'm going to need the help of an aspiring philosopher as a lavishly funded co-researcher.

Anon1152 said...

Alas, I am inexperienced in getting funding. And I study political theory, which isn't exactly empirical research. I was hoping you knew more professors than me.

I'd be interested in being a part of the project though. There'd be no shortage of data. I have lost count of the number of mass shootings there have been over the last decade or two (though I admit, I don't usually follow news about individual crimes... It's a combination of 1) finding such stories a bit boring; and 2) not having the stomach for it).

Thank you, by the way, for pointing out that these "one-off mass murders" seem to be committed by "mostly white" offenders. That isn't a connection that is often made. But analogous connections are made quite easily with other groups. I'm not against making these connections per se. I am in favour of being extremely cautious and reflective when making them.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"