Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Murder, Media, and Blaming the Victim

Some of the reaction to the recent murder of six hunters in Wisconsin is disturbing. Before they are even buried, activists are trying to paint the hunters as responsible for their own deaths. Check out this quote (from a law school classmate of mine, no less):

``So many people in the community were like, 'Well, let's try to listen to
the story the way that this man is being treated,''' she said. ``Why did he feel
like he had to shoot them? ... If it's just one against so many, what did they
do to him that made him a threat?''

Claims of "backlash" and "cultural misunderstandings" abound. This almost as distasteful as the notion that average American citizens needed to be begged not to attack Arabs and Muslims after 9/11.

This also reminds me of the talk of anti-bullying efforts after various school shootings. Reports after recent shooting at Ricori High School defamed the victims as having bullied the killer (they had not). Even if the victims had picked on the killer, would that have justified their killing?


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