The Los Angeles Times editorial page today (Feb. 21) contains a template for reporting a “fill-in-the-blanks massacre." It is obviously a statement on the repetitiveness of school shootings, but the opening is weak. It begins, “Once again, a single person armed as if for military battle slaughtered the innocent…”
What is weak about that? It’s the word “person,” you see. It’s vague. Later in the statement, references to "gunman" and “he” identify the “person” as male. If the “person” were black, an illegal immigrant, Muslim, and/or female, the reporting would say so. School shooters have not ever been one of those.
It needs to be bluntly stated: “Once again, a single white male armed as if for military battle slaughtered the innocent…”
Corvallis (Feb. 21)