Finally! I’m writing about something other that gun control. Unfortunately, it is still about Sandy Hook Elementary School. I’ve noticed all sorts of tributes to the children, and only sometimes the staff (which in itself is terrible), on the news, in the papers, Monday Night Football, and even The Voice. But, one thing seems to have been forgotten, or at least I think so. The thing that I think we are forgetting is, Ryan Lanza.
You see, The man has gone through an enormously terrible time in the last week. He was directly impacted by the shooting, more than most everyone else. He has lost almost everything. He lost his Mother, and his brother. All of this to his brother’s hand. Not only has he lost nearly all of his family, but at first, on national television, he was accused of the rampage.
The country blew up! All across social networking sites, people were saying things like “I would shoot Ryan Lanza right now, and not feel bad at all.”
And, they were wrong. Can you imagine? The roller coaster he must have been on, being accused of a massacre he knew nothing about, then finding out it was his brother all along, and his mother is dead too! And, you know what?
It’s our fault.
We could blame all of the news networking sites, but they were merely appeasing all of our wishes. I mean, realistically, what did you do when you first heard of it? I know what I did. I turned on the news. I expected information. I expected to hear something that would help me understand a situation that barely effected me. It took place nearly 400 miles from me, but I had to know.
And, when I “have” to know something, I expect the news to tell me. We took Ryan Lanza, during the worst moment in his entire life, and raked him through the coals. And why did we do this? For our entertainment. We had to know.
Now, I understand that mistakes are made. They happen all of the time. Don’t get me wrong. I am not calling for the punishment of these news networks, although I would be surprised if Ryan Lanza did not sue them for defamation, but we have to, and news networks have to understand that we hold enormous power. We have the power to learn anything and to say anything we want, and thanks to the internet and cell phones, we can do these things faster than ever. Faster than we can check the validity of the things we are learning and saying.
Perhaps too fast.