Unlike so many other ‘school shooter’ stories, the press has been framing this gunman as a ‘victim’.
Whenever a young white male shoots up a community, the media pull no punches in finding stories to put him the worst possible light (except for that Antifa-affiliated guy in Dayton who killed 9 people).
The guy who shot 3 people in Arlington is NOT getting the same media treatment. In fact, only one day after being arrested, he’s out walking the streets on $75,000 bail.
The press is featuring stories about the hardship he suffered in life, and how he was ‘bullied’ at school.
Here are the opening paragraphs of a story in the Dallas Morning News:
He’d escaped a difficult childhood, with a father beaten to death and mother behind bars, according to family members and court records.
Timothy Simpkins went to live with his grandmother in an Arlington neighborhood where he excelled in school, aspired to be an engineer and enjoyed driving his Dodge Charger around town, relatives and friends said.
But the skinny 18-year-old could not escape the daily scourge of high school bullying, harassment and attacks, which left him depressed and afraid, according to relatives.
He fought back on Wednesday by pulling a handgun from his backpack and firing at his alleged attacker in an Arlington high school classroom. In addition to striking the 15-year-old who had just pummeled him, the bullets hit another student and a teacher who intervened to break up the fight, police said.
Simpkins’ family wrote Thursday online that he’d been “threatened, beaten and harassed” since the beginning of the school year at Timberview High School in Arlington. The picture they painted was of a tortured young man pushed to a breaking point.
There is at least some truth to the bullying complaint, apparently, as video shows him being pummeled by another kid not long before the shooting.
Stories emphasize his good grades, his murdered father, his mom being behind bars. They stress his ‘tough life’.
The kid drives a 2018 Dodge Charger and went to a private school until last year. But forget that. What’s really important here is that we see him as a victim. The 18-year old was bullied by a 15-year old and brought a gun to school to ‘solve’ the problem.
It’s not as though randomly discharging a weapon into a crowd, including shooting a teacher in the back — the one who tried to break up the fight — is the same as ‘self-defense’.
Now that he’s out, even before his victims were discharged from the hospital, that ‘victimhood’ narrative is going to be harder to prop up.
Especially with reports like this one…
Hours later, one of his relatives boasted on social media that he was already home and shared videos from a family gathering inside a home. He was shown holding a baby, standing in his kitchen, chatting to relatives.
Meanwhile, teacher Calvin Pettitt – who was shot because he tried to break up the fight – remained in the hospital, with a bullet in his shoulder that narrowly missed his aorta. — DailyMail
What makes this interesting isn’t necessarily the event itself and the various people whose stories intersect because of it.
What makes this story interesting is how the media have reported it compared to other similar stories, with shooters whose home lives were also badly messed up, or parents were deceased, where the media have made editorial decisions on who gets the benefit of a sympathetic narrative, and who is dismissed as a soulless predator.
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