Why is the Media Victimizing the Victims of Mass Shootings?


Sarah Jiva, Features Writer

A few days after the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the media began to reject some of the students’ accounts and start accusing them of being “crisis actors.” Perhaps the most well-known suspected crisis actor from this tragedy is David Hogg. After surviving the shooting that killed 17 members of his community, he became a strong advocate for gun reform. Soon after he began to speak out, the media began to reject his legitmacy and instead, accused him of being a pawn of anti-gun groups that wanted their message brought to the forefront. While conspiracy theories like this one have fizzled out, Hogg has actually thanked them. He says that the speculations have actually helped him gain recongnition and create a platform so that his voice may be heard.

Similarly, after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, conspiracy theories also emerged. In this case, the families of those who died were the ones being labeled as crisis actors. Some theorists also said that the whole shooting was a hoax created by the government to spark gun reform. However, if you take a step back and really think about these theories, why would the government ever stage an event in which 20 children and 6 adults were killed? These conspiracy theories do not seem to add up or make much sense at all.

The conspiracy theories that result from recent mass shootings lead us to the following questions: Why can’t we believe survivors of tragic events when they have a meaningful message to share? Has our country become so paranoid by fake news that we are willing to call out the victims and survivors of mass destruction as liars?

Regardless of political ideology, hopefully we can all agree that the safety of children in schools is a very important issue in today’s world. Keeping this in mind, hopefully we will also listen to our youth, especially those who have experienced terror and loss because of disasters similar to the shooting in Parkland, Florida.