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Should Mentally Disabled Suspects Be Given a Second Chance?

In two news articles one from USA Today and the other from Fox News the tragic news is told about the massive shooting at the Waffle House in Nashville Tennessee. Both News sources told the public that Travis Reinking was captured and taken into custody where he will have his hearing on May 7th 2018, as of right now there is a 2 million dollar bond set on Travis. Although each article is about the same event, I believe that the USA Today news article was better and would give viewers and readers a better perception than if they only read Fox News article.

To begin with, USA Today took a different approach to the entire story. They made sure that their headline got the reader’s attention and it did. “History of red flags didn’t keep guns out of hands of Waffle House shooting suspect”. This headline makes it sound like this awful tragedy could have been avoided if authorities did their job and made sure that Travis got the adequate help the first time he was caught threatening the lives of others. This news organization also used good statistics on the FBI rejecting 16,669 potential gun buyers that were diagnosed with some sort of mental health. They also did a great job including inputs from The National RIfle Association, and mental health professionals. They both said that people who are diagnosed with mental health disorder should not be allowed to own a gun or be near one because they are not stable.

To add more, Avery Gardiner co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said “If a police officer is concerned somebody shouldn’t have a gun, there’s very little an officer can do”. I believe that USA Today chose to quote him so they would not get in trouble by blaming this on the authorities because of their headline. In this article the news cast was the gatekeeper and they chose to add James Shaw, the “Waffle House Hero” who took the gun away from Travis to let viewers know that even though people make mistakes and commit crimes, there are still good people out there who are willing to risk their life for the well being of others. USA Today is a center news source that inputs news and information in a way where the readers can take the news one way or another.

Furthermore, in the Fox article their headline “ Waffle House shooting suspect faces additional warrants, police say”. Makes people believe that Travis is a messed up individual and should be in jail for the rest of his life. With Fox News being conservative they have strong beliefs that people who commit crimes like Travis should not be given a second chance and should be removed from society so he does not harm anyone else. Fox News decided to only put statements from authorities to keep it simple, only to update the public on the charges and the consequences of Travis. Fox News brought up his past attempts to harm others to let the readers know that he should not be set free even though he suffers from a mental disorder that makes him unstable.

Ultimately, USA Today and Fox News, approaches on this tragic event where the same. They both informed the public that Travis Reinking is a very dangerous unstable man who does not think about the consequences. If the public only read USA Today’s they would be more sympathetic and understanding because they would think that law enforcement authorities should have done more to prevent the Waffle House shooting. Opposed to if they only read Fox news’s they would think that it is good that Travis is finally behind bars where he belongs. In my opinion I believe that USA Today did a better job reporting this news because they their headline makes you wonder if authorities are actually doing everything that they can to prevent tragic events like this one from happening. As well as, including the hero who took the gun away from Mr. Reinking and adding the names of the unfortunate people who died that day.

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