20 December 2012 —

As a general rule I try to stay away from things that make me sad (weird right?). So when the Connecticut shooting went down last week I did my best to steer clear; because it's about the saddest thing you've ever heard. But it's hard. It's in the news and on the radio and all over Facebook, Instagram, and any other source of social media. Celebrities are speaking out and it seems that every reality show in the nation has made an effort to acknowledge it in some way. Add that to the fact that human's are naturally intrigued by tragedy (hello every single news channel) and I found myself watching YouTube video's and crying for those sweet children, their devastated families, and the poor boy who's brother just shot himself, their mother, and 26 other people. How do you handle knowing the brother you grew up with did that?

Below is Morgan Freeman's brilliant take on what happened this week. Then below that is the beautiful tribute 'The Voice' performed on Tuesday night in honor of all the victims.

"You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why.

It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed
people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news."