How, in a (theoretically) civilized society, should the media report about mass shootings? Specifically, what kind of images are acceptable to publish, particularily on newspaper front pages and magazine covers that might be seen by children?
Some news organizations simply unblinkingly showed the horror of the Las Vegas massacre—the New York Daily News, for instance, with its "American Carnage" front page on Tuesday (warning: highly graphic). Other outlets went with the default: showing tearful survivors and groups of first responders.
Time magazine, with its Oct. 16 issue, goes another route: It offers an all-type cover that simply presents a heart-wrenching list of 10 recent American mass shootings, ending with Las Vegas, followed by two words: "America's Nightmare."
Time's cover essay, "The Fight Over Gun Control Isn't Really About Guns," written by Philip Elliott with Haley Sweetland Edwards and Charlotte Alter, reads, in part,
The challenge in bringing change is that the debate over gun rights isn't really about guns at all. It's about what they represent: cherished freedoms, a reverence for independence. The guns are a rejection of political correctness that creeps into everything. Even the most incremental move to constrain deadly weaponry seems to many Americans to cut against their rights.