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February 20, 2013 / Gregory Williams

Media’s Focus on Guns Distracts from Larger Child Welfare Issues

In recent months it seems like the media just cannot wait to cover the next mass shooting. The only evidence I have is the seemingly constant coverage of stories that, just a few months ago, would have barely caught the attention of the local news in their respective locales.

This is no doubt the good work of journalists fulfilling their duty to responsibly report the news.

Since recent mass shootings much of discussion the media is generating with coverage of these shootings is ‘to protect the kids’ because ‘isn’t that the most important thing we as a society can do?’

Except that 800,000 children go missing in America every year. There are also 3.3 million reported cases of child abuse or neglect, right here, and according to childhelp.org, five children suffer abuse or neglect related deaths every day in the United States. Like our number of annual gun related deaths–the worst record in the developed world.

I wonder if instead of cluttering the news with every backwoods hinterland idiot shooting in the United States, the media might have better luck helping children by running stories about the ones that are missing in an effort to find them? Or speaking out against child abuse and neglect? Surely some public outrage about child abuse could produce more useful legislation to protect children than an assault weapons ban, or be more useful than fostering another festering political division between fellow citizens.

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