Student's Fears Result Of Media, Not Gun Laws

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Beto O’Rourke couldn’t win an election to be a senator in his own state, but he thinks he can be president. The idea is hysterical, yet he’s going for it. On some level, you have to appreciate the chutzpah it takes to lose at the state level and believe you can still win at the national level.


During one of his campaign stops, one at a middle school in Iowa, a student expressed fears and concerns over such shootings.

More than 40 students piled into a classroom and O’Rourke began with a brief introduction that echoed comments he makes several times a day while campaigning. When he joked about his Republican mother voting for him during the Senate race, an adult listening from the back was the only one who laughed. Ditto for comments about finding rare independent voters in Texas.

But things grew emotional moments later when 14-year-old Milan Underberg cried openly as she asked about the “little or no effort” that the federal government has made to stop school shootings. Her voice breaking, she said, “I’m afraid that, one day, I’ll go to school and I’ll never come out.”

“I apologize,” she concluded of the tears. O’Rourke responded softly, “No, you’re good.”

I get young Milan’s fears. I honestly do, especially since she asked this question on the same day as yet another school shooting.

However, those fears aren’t based on reality. They’re based on the media’s portrayal of reality, and those two things aren’t exactly similar.


The media portrays schools as potential killing zones, pretending that the chances of kids going to school and not coming home as something other than astronomical. Each mass shooting fills the television screens for days or weeks, all while anti-gun groups manipulate the data to pretend that these events are happening each day. They’re not.

I get her fears, but they’re misguided.

Her fears aren’t uncommon. They’re the drive behind things like March For Our Lives and the school walkout last school year. However, if you want to blame anyone for that fear, blame people like Beto O’Rourke who won’t point out to Milan that the odds of her being involved in a mass shooting aren’t that great. Blame the media.

As New York Magazine put it last year [emphasis mine]:

By keeping the national spotlight on the mass murder at their high school — and calling on their peers across the country to walk out of their schools, so as to “no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings” in the United States — the theater kids of Marjory Stoneman Douglas have built the broadest public consensus for gun-safety measures that America has seen in a quarter-century.

But they’ve also (inadvertently) triggered a moral panic about the safety of America’s schools that has little basis in empirical reality — and which is already lending momentum to policies that would increase juvenile incarceration, waste precious educational resources on security theater, and bring more guns into our nation’s classrooms.


Note the bolded section. I happen to agree with that part. Completely.

Young Milan is afraid, but she’s afraid because anti-gunners and the media benefit by her being afraid, so they don’t admit to the facts. Beto O’Rourke benefits from not repeating the actual facts.

She’s afraid, and they prefer her that way because people scared of getting shot are far more likely to become anti-gun crusaders. They like it that way.

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