David Brooks Urges Media to Stop Talking About People Like Vegas Shooter: ‘They Just Want to Become Famous’

Friday on PBS’s “NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks suggested that one of the ways to reduce the number of mass shooting would be to stop giving those behind the shootings as much media attention as they have received.

Brooks was skeptical of the prospects of any gun control measure making its way on the books. However, he said one thing the media was to stop giving such a focus as to “anonymize” them.

“We’re in the middle of a renaissance of gun laws in this country — 24 — more than 24 states have passed it, and almost all of them have loosened gun restrictions, not tightened gun restrictions,” he explained. “They have concealed carry and all those kinds of laws. My own view on the issue is that we should probably pass all the gun control measures that are talked about, whether it’s the gun shows, whether it’s limiting the number you can buy. And, I mean, there’s a list of about 15 programs, smart guns and all that, and most of them would be good. And I think they would be good because I think they would reduce suicides, which is the really main form of gun death.”

Whether they’d prevent these kinds of killings, I guess I’m dubious. Marco Rubio made a statement in the presidential campaign that none of the proposed laws would have prevented any of the recent mass killings,” Brooks continued. “The Washington Post did a big fact-check on that claim, and they said what he said was accurate. And so I’m for supporting these things. I’m not sure we should get our hopes up they will prevent things. One of the things I have been thinking about if we in the media just stopped talking about these people — this guy seemed to be a — we don’t know what he is. But a lot of the people who do this, they just want to become famous. They want to prove to the world they exist. And if we anonymize them — and it’s hard to do, because you’re always curious about the people.”

“But if we anonymize them, I think that would — I’m not saying this is a replacement of gun rules, but I’m saying this, to me, is a thing that we can do,” he added.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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