Thursday, March 1, 2018

Survivor? Witness? Or something else?

Most the Parkland kids we see pitched as "survivors" of the Stoneman Douglas shooting may not have been anywhere near the building on campus where shootings took place. I'm not even sure it's fair to call them witnesses to the shooting, let alone survivors. To be deemed a survivor suggests overcoming an injury caused in the event or, at the very least, having been in direct and immediate peril.
Did any of the Stoneman Douglas students now making regular appearances pitching gun control even see the shooter or his weapon on campus on the day of the shooting?
You are considered a survivor of a ship wreck if the ship sinks and you are rescued. But if a limited part of the ship is damaged in a storm or by an attack, and you are on another part of the ship, are you a survivor of the incident?
How many times are soldiers engaged in battle, but are not wounded or injured. How about the support troops, perhaps at the embattled location, but not directly involved in hostilities? Do we bestow upon them the title of "survivor"?
Was every student on campus at Virginia Tech deemed a survivor of the mass shooting event there in 2007?
Maybe the term survivor is being applied too broadly in post-event reporting of the Stoneman-Douglas shootings. Strikes me, the term survivor is being exploited to elicit emotion and bestow credibility to teenage activists pushing an agenda rather than to accurately describe what role they had, or how close to the threat they were, when the actual violence took place.

I'm also curious. Was it media that first bestowed the survivor title on the young campus activists? Or is that how they pitched themselves before making their first media appearance? 

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