Photo Courtesy of AP images
BY ALEJANDRO MEZA AGUILAR
The nation has faced much loss with the current shooting that occurred in Las Vegas on Sunday Oct. 1. The shooter had created a reiteration of looking onto the debatable topic of gun control. The shooting proved to be of massive proportions with 58 people dead and 500 victims who had suffered injuries. The shooting itself was pure political controversy but on Oct. 9 American Horror Story had edited the previously produced show to keep in mind of the victims’ rights.
Shows have long faced the issue of gun control with very different responses throughout the mass shootings the nation has faced. The most noticeable shooting was the Columbine shooting in April 20th, 1999. This was the precedent to the awareness of the nation’s stance on gun control. Politicians will be vocal on where they stand in the topic, and television shows will also bring out the topic in times of mass shootings to let the public think about gun control.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” had attempted to show people the severity of how to handle gun control and keep campuses safe with Earshot. The Internet Movie Database presents the plot as, “Buffy [the main character] is infected with the demon’s blood and she gains the ability to hear people’s thoughts… Amid the chaos, Buffy hears a killer planning a mass murder at the school”. The episode was set to air one week after the Columbine shooting on April 28th but was postponed to Sept. 28th 1999 to avoid controversy. Other shows also tackled the same subject matter such as “Static Shock” did with the episode titled Jimmy. The synopsis is that Virgil [ Static – the titular character] befriends a bullied student named Jimmy whose torment has him take a gun to school to shoot his bullies but accidentally shoots Richie [ Static Shock’s best-friend]. The show has Static break the fourth wall and tell the viewers, ” In one year alone 6,000 kids were expelled for bringing a hand-gun to school. As many as 4,000 kids are killed by guns each year. You can do something to stop this. If someone shows you a gun, don’t stick around. Get away from them. Tell an adult or someone you trust. Do your part to increase the peace out there alright”?
These are early instances in which shows had tackled the problem of mass shootings with direct and clear messages to spark a discussion among the public viewers. The Jimmy episode aired back in 2002 and the statistics as of now show that 1,300 children [of the age of 0 to 17] die by gun related death and 5790 are treated for a gun related injury as stated by the trends of 2002 to 2014 in the American Academy of Pediatrics journal. The amount of fatalities has dropped but there are still 5790 children who are treated annually for gun related injuries.
The Las Vegas shooting has been the latest to prove the depth of gun control’s debate in the United States. American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy decided to use less graphic violence which would resemble that of the Las Vegas shooting. In a US Weekly article he confirmed the reason for editing the episode, which was going to give an evident pro gun control episode, but scrapped it to respect the victims. This nation still stands in the midst of attempting to come to an agreement on the topic of guns even after the tragic event of Oct. 1, but entertainment will find a way to show their viewers the consequences which can occur with firearms.