Sunday, August 20, 2006

Unintended consequences

I would like to mention one possible unintended consequence. I will throw out the idea, without any fanfare, to the blogsphere to see what you think.

The media is partially to blame for the successful adoption of CCW laws in the many of the States.
The news at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 shows all the bad things that have happened in you area today. They show the murders, robberies, and all the ultra-violence they can to get their ratings up. They have increased their coverage of crime, even though crime is lower than it was 10, 15, or even 20 years ago. You could believe that they had other motives, such as making the average person believe they need more police or to have some other unknown effect on the population. If that was the case, I doubt the coverage of crime would be so uniform, because producers would make widely different choices nationwide.

The result of bracketing prime-time with crime, has been the feeling that you must do something to protect yourself. Which most reasonable people come to the conclusion that a gun is a fine protection mechanism. I believe this is evidence of the interrelated nature of the media and the consumers of media. The concentration on crime by the news media is not the only reason for the success of CCW laws, but it is one influence. Of course the fact that CCW laws, at worst do no harm and at best save lives, probably has something to do with it.

In other news, there was a recent study linking sexual songs that teenagers listen to with teenagers that have sex. What if it is the other way around? Teenagers who have sex tend to listen to songs that talk about sex. I have no doubt, that both influence the other. The media you consume has an effect, those effects might be fairly predictable or they might even have some unintended consequences.


1 comment:

Gib said...

I wonder what effect a thank-you letter writing campaign from the NRA would have on crime coverage.