By Felina Silver Robinson
Yesterday shortly after losing his job at Vaughan Foods plant in Oklahoma City, Alton Nolen headed over to the human resources section of the administrative building and took it upon himself to behead Colleen Hufford. He then proceeded to stab Traci Johnson multiple times at which time he was shot by Mark Vaughan, who is a reserve sheriff’s deputy and the company’s chief operating officer.
It was initially said that this beheading may have been inspired by the media’s communication of the ISIS incidents. Nolen is a Muslim convert and like many other muslims has been working to convert others to Islam. While this may be true no one can assume that any of his actions are at all related to ISIS or any other threats currently out there. It seems that the FBI and other key officials are doing a great job in trying to figure out exactly what the true motive was behind all this, aside from the obvious firing moments before the gruesome attack.
I hate pointing fingers, but I have to say that while it is important to keep readers informed of what is going on in the world, it often feels like the more violent something is, the more the media shows you all the details. If every station out there is repeatedly televising, posting, and reporting the same gorey details of the most violent acts, of course its going to condition others and set in place the reasoning to motivate them to start their own trail of violence. Most often, the acts mirror the events they’ve seen and heard about, minus the ransom or televised threats.
If there were regulations in place that limited the number of televised occasions by each news station, maybe it would be harder to plant the seed. There is not much that can be done about the internet, because people search for what they are interested in. TV is somewhat easier to control. Let’s not kid ourselves though, the world has a large number of people with devastating mental health issues of which many are not even being treated for whether it be due to a lack of insurance coverage, money problems or maybe even accessibility. We don’t know, but when we know we have the power to control some part of what’s going on, we must work to do our best to prevent events such as the beheading of innocent bystanders, rapes, arson, robbery and the like.
It might be hard to hear, but we as a society have nurtured criminals by giving them access to the tools and ideas to commit the crimes they commit. Then, despite our best efforts to put them away for their sins in many cases, the guilty go free, while their victims live a lifetime of pain and often end up becoming criminals seeking revenge on their attackers.
It’s time to take notice of what’s really happening and what role the Media and others are playing in what happens and how it happens.