My Issues with that School Shooter PSA

1. The Blatant Queerbaiting. This was deliberate and manipulative. The focus of the narrative is on the identity of the the desk-writer. Though we see multiple shots of Evan looking at random groups of girls, the only two constant motifs that are present in the mise en scène are Evan and the boy sitting behind him in the background, which naturally leads us to believe that the boy near him is the desk-writer. Even if you didn’t notice the boy behind him, the very fact that they leave the identity a mystery until the end is evidence that at the very least, the writers had no qualms about the viewer constructing a queer narrative in their mind, and at the very most hoped that the viewer would do so to distract them from the school shooter storyline. If they had wanted to avoid queerbaiting, they would have included shots of both desk-writers sending and receiving messages until they discover each other at the end.

While queerbaiting is exploitative enough on its own, this PSA goes a step further by rewarding the cathexis of the viewer who thinks they’re watching a queer narrative with violence, associating the very character whom you have assumed to be gay with gun violence. They take your desire for diverse and queer representation and use it to promote not that which you desire, but the agendas they wish to push.

2. The Lack of Audience. Who is the audience for this? Teachers? Students? Parents? And what message are they trying to send? That if you see a classmate being bullied you should report not the bully, but the classmate for a crime you feel he has the potential to commit? Regardless of the primary audience, this PSA absolutely oozes victim-blaming. That the reason this student decided to shoot up the school is not because he’s disturbed or dangerous, but because you didn’t stop him from doing so.

3. The Meaningless Futility of Telling Someone to Be Aware of Their Surroundings. If you had to pick out the main message of this PSA, it’s “Be Aware and Pay Attention.” What they fail to recognize is the fact that telling someone to be aware is probably the most useless advice you could give them. Does anyone actually go about their day thinking “I’m not being aware enough”? Everyone thinks they’re aware of their surroundings, because any evidence that they are not aware lies outside their awareness–thus we are unable to make objective judgments about our level of alertness to the world around us.

I get what they were going for and I know they had the best intentions–I just wish they hadn’t resorted to shitty techniques and cheap gimmicks to convey their ideas.

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~ 1 year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary Shootings ~ 

December 14, 2012

Today we remember all the kids and teachers we lost on 12/14/12. We honor the families who have lost a kid to their family, and we honor the teachers who tried to get these kids to safety. Adam Lanza took away 26 lives (20 students and 6 adults) including his very own mother, and his own life. We also honor and remember a 6 year old named Jesse Lewis who saved his whole class, but ended up dying. We will never forget this day.

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It’s absolutely unbelievable and disgusting that just days after the largest mass shooting in US history, Democrats have to filibuster just to get a VOTE on stopping suspected terrorists from legally buying semi automatic weapons.

Defeat

If nine people can be shot dead while praying in their church…

If 12 soldiers can be gunned down on their own base by fellow soldier…

If a congresswoman can be shot in the head six other people can be gunned down…

If a gunman can walk into a movie theater and kill 12 people…

If 26 people - 20 children - can be gunned down in their elementary school…

If 12 people can be shot dead at a Navy yard…

If six Sikhs can be shot dead at their temple…

If two police officers can be shot dead while leaving their police station in the middle of the night…

If black men, women, and children can be gunned down for simply being black…

And if no one wants to do anything to change this…

It is not safe to live in the United States of America.

School/University Shooter Voices
  • School/University Shooter Voices
Play

Audio recordings of various school or university shooters. Note: Elliot Rodger isn’t necessarily a school/university shooter, as his attack was only on the campus, and three of his victims were stabbed to death, not shot.  Still fits into the theme, in my opinion.

In chronological order: Kip Kinkel (1998) - Dylan Klebold (†1999) - Eric Harris (†1999) - Seung-hui Cho (†2007) - Pekka-Eric Auvinen (†2007) - TJ Lane (2012) - Adam Lanza (†2012) - Elliot Rodger (†2014) - Dylann Roof (2015)

It’s probably not a good sign that America’s new gun control policy essentially boils down to training little kids to be badass warriors with secret ninja skills.

“Sure, we COULD have background checks and ban AK47s…but, no, let’s just expect all these children to be Katniss Everdeen.”