The speech NOT from Morgan Freeman
On 14th December, 2012, a 20-year-old man walked into Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut armed and killed 26 students and teachers. A few heroic stories of teachers, or even “notes” left by kids who were killed were circulating online, before the name list of the victims were released, and they were all found to be untrue.
Another popular quote, from actor Morgan Freeman was posted on Facebook. In less than 24 hours (17 hours to be exact- up to the point of time when I’m writing this), this piece of speech has been shared nearly 600,000 times, with over 400,000 likes.
Morgan Freeman’s apparent quote:
“You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.
It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed
people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.
CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.
You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”
Not sure why Morgan Freeman is being pulled into the speech for no reason, but perhaps due to the internet hoax about his death earlier in the year.
Attention-seeking or In need of Attention
The speech is indeed thought-provoking. Some people agree with the author too. But how true? It makes me think, is the killer really wanting media fame? Are they really using brutal, cold-blood methods to seek for attention or are their problems in need of attention from the world? Is it their method of expressing or letting go of their anger? Causing pain so that their pain will lessen, in other words, mental illness?
Many questions went through my mind, especially after reading the article titled: ‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’: A Mom’s Perspective On The Mental Illness Conversation In America It is written by a mom who has a brilliant child with mental illness. She hopes that the American system is able to do something to help children with such anger management problem, and not attempt to solve the problem by putting these patients behind the bars.
Some people suggested gun control to solve these problems, but on the very same day of the Sandy Hook shooting, a 36-year-old Chinese man attacked 22 children with a knife at a primary school in China. The problem is still there.
So guess what? Not reporting or sensationalizing on these news ain’t going to solve the problem. Gun control or even a ban MIGHT work, what about finding a solution or even a cure for these people?
I had mixed feelings when I was typing this post. Am I pitying the murderer? Should I even be thinking about those people who had done such unforgivable acts. They are like Voldemort, killing innocent lives, the pure innocent child who had bright futures awaiting them.
My heart goes all the way out for the victims. Do they know that it’s the last time they are going to see their parents and siblings when they go to school in the morning?
I felt blessed and lucky that I’m living in Singapore, a safe place where there isn’t such crimes.
Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. Someone you chat with in the day might just leave you forever suddenly. Learn to treasure the people around you.
Video of Obama’s speech in regards to the Sandy Hook Shooting case