Newtown: Intersection of Thorny Issues

The media cover gun control, race and our culture of violence in the wake of the tragedy.

Mario Tama/Getty Images
Mario Tama/Getty Images

There’s been a lot of talk about media in the wake of the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., as the world struggles to understand something that may be beyond rational thought,” media critic Eric Deggans wrote Monday in the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times.

“Big picture-wise, I think America is experiencing the brutal intersection of many thorny issues: a runaway gun culture we have indulged for too long; a culture of violence which too-often glorifies those who end problems with a fist or gun; a chronically underfunded mental health system woefully unable to help average people struggling with mental illness; and a media culture which can make outsize villains of those who commit the most horrific acts.

“It would be nice if the tragedy of 20 children killed in their own elementary school was a big enough shock to prompt some movement at least on the curbing of assault weapons ownership and boosting of mental health resources in America. But at a time when politicians can’t even agree on a plan to avoid raising every voter’s taxes by the start of 2013, I’m not holding my breath. . . . “

Peter Applebome and Brian Stelter, New York Times: Media Spotlight Seen as a Blessing, or a Curse, in a Grieving Town

Lauren Ashburn, Daily Beast: There’s No Crying in Journalism — Even After the Horrifying Connecticut School Shootings

Wayne Bennett, Field Negro: A culture of madness

Curtis Brainard, Columbia Journalism Review: Lanza, autism, and violence

KJ Dell’Antonia, New York Times: How Not to Talk With Children About the Newtown Shooting

Tammerlin Drummond, Oakland Tribune: Gun control must also address ongoing urban mayhem