I haven’t spent much time following this weekend’s Capital Hill shootings, because… well… I generally don’t enjoy reading media coverage of random horrors such as this. It’s heart-wrenching. It’s depressing. And the coverage usually doesn’t teach us all that much about what really happened, other than the details.
Instead, I prefer to wait until the play or the song or the poem comes out, because quite frankly, artists do a much better job of making sense of these tragedies than journalists.
Still, I was reluctantly browsing through the copious coverage on Slog this morning, when I came across a couple of posts from Dan and Josh, criticizing the Seattle Times editorial board for their “pathetic,” “reactionary,” so-called soul-searching.
An armed madman goes on a shooting rampage at a private house party… and what lesson did the wise and solemn scribblers at the Times learn from this tragedy?
Teen dance rules in our city must be thoroughly reviewed to see if they go far enough to protect young people. One of the six victims was apparently a 15-year-old Bellevue girl. What precautions or rules could have helped her? Could anyone protect her at a private party at a private home?
At this point, our community has to rethink late-night activities of young people. We must do what we can to prevent such a horrific incident from happening again.
Hmm. Let’s see if I can come up with a hypothetical parallel.
I’ve had the privilege of being invited to a couple of editorial board interviews over the past few years. Now suppose I were to show up for one at the Times, armed to the hilt, and in a homicidal rage over say — dishonest efforts to repeal the estate tax — I were to mow down two generations of Blethens and their assembled editorialists? Do you really suppose that the next morning they’d publish an editorial suggesting that our community “rethink the activities of editorial boards”…?
No, of course not. They’d all be dead.
But this practical consideration aside, such a blame-the-victim editorial would be patently absurd. The cause of the tragedy wouldn’t be the editorial board, it would be the armed nutcase. (In this case, me.)
As Dan points out, a reasonable reaction to the tragic shootings might be to discuss gun control or the adequacy of our mental health services. But…
Is anyone shocked to discover that the old farts at the Seattle Times searched their creaky old souls and came up with the same old garbage? Young people are scary. Their parties are scary. Teenagers shouldn’t be out of the house after 10 PM. The city should do something about it.
Pathetic indeed. And if anybody at the Times takes issue with me, I’d be happy to come down to your offices and discuss this face to face.