In his latest episode, National Rifle Association News commentator Billy Johnson examined media coverage of the May 23rd killing spree near Santa Barbra that left seven people dead including the perpetrator of the attack, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger.
Johnson questions why the media was so quick to label Rodger a “gunman” and a “shooter” when in fact he killed three individuals with a knife and wounded others with his vehicle, concluding that “killer” would be the most appropriate way to describe the demented college student.
Johnson then suggests that the media perpetuates a negative stereotype of the words “gunmen” and “shooter.”
“I think we gravitate toward the label ‘gunman’ because it is more sensational, it’s scarier,” says Johnson.
“We have been conditioned to fear people with guns. The media reinforces this fear while simultaneously exploiting it. We have been conditioned to feel that guns and gunmen in particular are evils from which any decent person should recoil in horror,” he continues.
“Well guess what, I’m pretty sure I might be a gunman. Calm down, okay, it’s just a word; a word that means a man who is armed with a gun or skilled with a gun,” Johnson explains.
Interesting theory. What are your thoughts? Does the media purposefully use certain buzzwords to push an anti-gun agenda?