American Elephants

What Do We Do To Stop “Copycat” Crimes? by The Elephant's Child
June 3, 2022, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Politics

This has been one of those days when you scroll through the news, and it just seems all wrong. Everybody is chasing the wrong things, the wrong ideas of what is important. Today they seem to be after the police for not responding rapidly enough to school shootings, although it seems as if the police responded as quickly as possible, and carefully to avoid any student deaths, which is the most important result. But how frightening for parents. Seems as if sending your kid off to school for the day is, or should be, the most common and safe everyday actions.

AS I have noted before, I am concerned by “copycat” events. Somebody took a big empty bag into a small store, loaded it up with merchandise and walked out without paying. That seemed to spawn a whole bunch of people trying the same thing in their community. We had lots of evidence of copycat things earlier. Demonstrations over one thing or another in one community were soon copied elsewhere. Seeing a report on Television apparently granted “permission” to repeat the event elsewhere. Does that spread? I suspect that it does. Then do things like school shootings spread by imitation? I think there is quite a bit of that and the potential for far more, which is dangerous indeed. I have no idea, I just try to keep up with the news.

And just where does the problem lie? Is it with journalism in general? The specific news source? Do we need more attention on what happens to the perpetrator, assuming he or she is caught? And is it real? Does a school shooting actually encourage other crazies? I do not know.

ADDENDUM: There is a book out on “The Copycat Effect” by Loren Coleman (2004) in case you are interested. I have not read it, just noted it’s existence.

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