Written in Ink

Mass Shooting. Don't Worry. It Ended Yesterday.

And we didn't hear about it, or at least I didn't. Oh, but this was an "urban" mass shooting, so meh. Not news:

On Thursday, a man reportedly dressed in body armor ran into a crowded room and opened fire with a high-powered assault-style rifle, killing three and injuring six. But television stations didn’t cut away to report on the horrific event. In fact, it’s likely this is the first you’re hearing about it.

What makes this shooting different? Several things. First, it happened in Detroit, a city with a staggeringly high murder rate. Second, the reported gunman had a criminal history, and may have had a longstanding feud with some of the victims. And, third, it happened in a space where many people can’t imagine themselves: a gambling session in the back room of a barber shop.



Sadly, the relative media ignorance of the shooting tracks with a common theme: Gun crimes often occur in low-income neighborhoods with largely non-white victims, but, from the news, you’d think every shooting put the white and affluent at risk of violence. There’s an obvious reason from a producer’s perspective: They want traffic, or viewers, and think they can get more if more well-off news consumers are self-concerned with the story. But it doesn’t reflect the reality of gun violence in the United States, where black people are far more likely to be victims of gun homicides compared to their white counterparts.

I'm actually pretty surprised that this didn't make the national news, even with it being "urban." I don't know why I'm surprised— for every mass shooting in a non-urban area, the news reporters always manage to mash in the phrase: "It's not supposed to happen here," I guess because they think it is supposed to happen in an "urban" area.

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