When I first saw the headline for this piece on social media, I thought it was Babylon Bee spoofing big modern media:
Kyoto Animation arson killings didn’t get much attention because we couldn’t demonize guns
Sure enougb, it’s an actual USAToday editorial, about the Kyoto Animation Studio mass killing -= which involved arson, not guns, so the American media snoozed it out:
The limited attention here in the United States cannot be explained away on account of distance. Compare the coverage with that of the mosque shootings last March in Christchurch, New Zealand, a location even farther from our shores. U.S. newspapers and wire services featured the Christchurch massacre five times as much as the Kyoto mass murder.
Sure, there are some differences between the two tragedies in term of victim count and motive. Thursday’s attack involved a personal agenda rather than a political one — never raising the dreadful specter of terrorism. The Kyoto massacre may not have been an act of terror, but the young victims undoubtedly experienced tremendous terror as the flames swelled around them and smoke invaded their lungs.
Mass shootings remain one of the most widely discussed topics here in the United States. By comparison, we just don’t seem to be as unnerved by mass killings carried out by other methods, unless of course they hint of terrorism, be it of foreign or domestic origin.
This wasn’t always the case; when over 90 were killed by an arsonist at the Happyland Social Club in the Bronx in 1990, there was media coverage…
…but it didn’t lead to “National Conversations” about mental health, since that’s a) intractable, b) involves beating on no political opponents.
And I’ll posit this right here: If an insane arsonist killed 34 black people in Chicago, there’d be a similar shrug of the media’s shoulders. Because there’s no political angle to beat on gun owners in between editorials bemoaning “tribailism” in our culture.