Here’s my thoughts right off the bat — while these images might be upsetting to some people, in our gun-soaked culture, why not show the results of firing a gun? This kind of scene is shown nightly on network television and in graphic detail in movies. Granted, the lighting isn’t as pretty and there’s no immediate cutaway in real life, but if we’re going to celebrate the right to own and carry weapons, why not show the results? Doesn’t this naturally follow from a 24 hour news cycle, where everything is sensationalized and nothing is truly discussed?
To me, this is like the prohibition on showing flag-draped caskets. God forbid we see the results of war and weapons. In a bizarre way, it almost feels reminiscent of the end of Fahrenheit 451 — only the man was not killed by police. In the book, a stand in for Guy Montag is killed live on television. Shep Smith apologized, but I’m not sure there’s much to apologize for here, other than sensationalizing the chase itself. The airing of the man’s suicide was not stopped by their delay.
And why should it be? Regardless of the delay, the victim is still dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The car chase and suicide happened publicly. That this man sought a permanent way out — along with thousands of other Americans each year — should offend our delicate sensibilities more than what Fox News aired today.
Feel free to disagree or agree, or discuss. Perhaps I’m a cynic.