When it comes to gun violence and the media, all casualties are not created equal

April 1, 2021

By Stephanie H. Freedman

There is no denying the tragedies our nation has seen recently due to gun violence. From Atlanta, Georgia to Boulder, Colorado to Orange, California – 2021 is proving to have tragic beginnings. 

CNN published an in-depth piece headlined, “The Colorado attack is the 7th mass shooting in 7 days in the U.S.” NBC speculated that “After two mass shootings, Americans ask: Is this what a return to normal looks like?” 

It is natural for the media to report what policies are being considered to prevent such tragedies and urge our country to do better. While the world fights to have these tragedies not be in vain, the coverage of these gun casualties varies depending on the incident. 

This week, Chicago reported more than 30 people were shot over last weekend, with multiple fatalities. The weekend before reported that more than 40 people were shot, with multiple fatalities. Chicago alone has seen 123 homicides since the beginning of the year. 

While individual incidents are minimally reported on a case-by-case basis, those stories are missing from the national outcry for gun violence victims. There is no media analysis of why these fatalities are on the rise. There is no cry for Washington to enact reforms as a result of these tragedies. 

Local outlets report most of the victims and suspects in Chicago are “young black men”. They also cover the local decisions to defund the police as well as being part of the first state to end cash bail. 

While there are very real policy considerations surrounding all the recent tragedies in our country, the media will show not all fatalities are created equal. 


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