Mass Shootings in the United States: The Virality of Shooter-Based Notoriety

PROPOSAL: A publication ban on the perpetrator of mass murders….

A post-life portrait of the suicidal killer is quite possibly what many mass murder shooters are seeking. The motivations may vary (rage against the self and others or a malfunctioning cerebrum) but the medium of fame is uniform. A mass shooter in the United States is typically a dejected, mentally unstable person who is seeking a suicide path. The fact that fire arms are relatively easy to access in most US states makes their suicidal goal potentially viral at a minimal cost. Of course, this is not what these killers are thinking about consciously but its an empirical fact that a fire arm that costs $350 can be used in order to generate media attention that would normally cost >50 million dollars of paid advertising. Suddenly the suicide is can be viral and newsworthy. Their story can be told.

The white elephant in the living room is that evil shooters get fame; to become an nihilistic pinup, an anti-hero with a kill count. It’s a subconscious realisation that the next shooter recognises as the media explores each killer in the wake of tragedy mostly to explain why but also in tandem with an effort to generate page views and drive traffic to their sponsors. In competition with other media sources, the clickbait becomes a canvas to tell a life story. The story of the kid gone wrong gets told in the wake of perverted evil. Some people might even sympathize with them and just a few too many will dream of a similar suicide. Mass shootings offer the shooter the criminal opportunity to end their life while drawing national and international attention. Fame by Public Suicide. Global attention is showered on the individual in order to learn more about their troubled life. What was the motivation? Partly, viral fame. The chance to prove he or she was alive.

Activism has to start with a corporate ban on display advertising that is featured on click-bait shock & massacre content pages. We inadvertently feed the troll when the small percentage of the viewing audience also feels that inspirational glow around having your picture featured in the newspapers around the world. The causal mechanism is evident or at least there is a strong correlation. Regardless of the current legislation at the federal level in the US, there are multiple-counter arguments to banning sales of handguns or more timidly restricting access to fire arms. There are already free moving handguns for every American citizen at present. The emphasis on the assailants motivation IS a strong motivation for the crime.