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where were the cell phones?

Ok, I was mistaken – I have one last thing to say about the Tucson shooting today.

We are rapidly becoming a fully-connected society, in that one will find smart phones, cameras, and video recorders almost everywhere, at almost any time; and, predictably enough, when major events transpire, it is not long at all until a horde of various people’s own recordings of the event are broadcast, posted, or otherwise disseminated on the Internet.

I can understand that Safeway’s video surveillance was almost immediately taken as evidence for the authorities, but where are the private citizens’ recordings of the impromptu Town-Hall-style meeting Representative Giffords was giving? Granted, it was unannounced and quite spur of the moment, so people probably would not have digital camcorders and the like, but darned near every smartphone on the planet has a camera on it capable of taking video, and we social creatures are all about sharing our experiences with important folks.

(Note: This post is not an attempt at starting or perpetuating a conspiracy theory or some kind of “cover up” nonsense – I am just asking a question that occurred to me while shaving.)

7 comments to where were the cell phones?

  • JP

    I was wondering the same thing. I figured someone had to have been recording video of the event. It happens ALL the time.

    Another thought: cell phones are probably the main contributor to the misinformation that started happening instantly. Someone on scene after the shooting stops calls someone else “OMG THERE WAS A SHOOTING. GABBY GOT SHOT IN THE HEAD. SHES DEAD” and it all escalates from there.

    I think Gabby had been reportedly dead for more than an hour before the first bits of “she is still alive” started popping up.

  • Gaston


    This is more of a follow up to our earlier discussion on this same subject:

    I believe that some in the liberal media has boilerplate text to insert into any active shooter report to the effect of: “Lone Wolf, single white male, loner, right wing, tea-bagging, gun owning racist… with a clip” This was never more true than with the Beltway sniper. I am numb to media linking this to a right wing hate mongering racist conspiracy. Congress is now already talking about more knee jerk feel good gun control laws. The failure here is not gun control. Every firearms application asks about adjudication as to mental defect. Will mandatory Obamacare end up forcing the medical profession to make up for the failure of the community? I am extremely reluctant to have a medical doctor judge my mental competency to buy a firearm. The failure was in getting the community to perform this adjudication and then to truthfully respond to the questionnaire.

    In contrast as the champion of the collectivist, Hillary with her “…it takes a village”, fails to accept any responsibility for when the collective fails. The same liberal media is silent on how the unpopular health care reform would address the suspects mental health needs. We do not want a mental health care system such as in the communist USSR that locked up dissidents for the mental health condition of exercising Free Speech. It will be a challenge to preserve our Rights as citizens, while providing for these mental health needs. This is NOT a gun control issue. This is purely a discussion about providing mental health care in a free society.

    I personally struggle with Second Amendment Rights in this area. I still remember the back story to this shooting:

    Again a case where the boy’s parents tried to have him committed but could not keep him under observation. On one hand I consider the right to own firearms sacrosanct, but then on the other hand struggle with how to preserve this right for the unstable. I believe that a blind man should be able to exercise a Second Amendment right. Even non-violent but mentally unstable individuals should be allowed to exercise their rights, for example an individual with an obsessive compulsive disorder. I became concerned when I heard that combat veterans were being forced to chose between their rights and treatment for P.T.S.D. The definition of what constitutes mental instability from a rights perspective is yet another slippery slope. There is no documented path to regaining the right once it has been denied. The criteria is vague and health care privacy can be used either way. I am afraid of an oppressor using this mental competency criteria to deny rights, just like the Soviet Union locking dissidents up in mental institutions.

    The best (and unsatisfactory) answer that I can come up with is to allow 99 crazies run around with firearms, lest one citizen be denied their rights.

    Circling back around to the “..takes a village” discussion, I feel that the liberal media has gone too far in demonizing firearms ownership. I feel that if firearms ownership were portrayed in a more positive role then we wouldn’t have kids getting thrown out of school for having paring knives and wouldn’t have crazies running around with firearms.

  • You aren’t the only one asking. I regret it never occurred to me (hey, it’s a snow day here, my brain turned off at 5 AM when I got the word), but commenters at Claire Wolfe’s blog are asking the same thing.

    All things considered, the lack of photographic and video evidence is odd. Short notice or not, I can’t believe that no one on the congresscritter’s staff had not notified the media of the event.

  • I think Gabby had been reportedly dead for more than an hour before the first bits of “she is still alive” started popping up.

    From what I recall, even Obama was talking as if she were dead in his first speech. His staff should have been getting the information direct from the source, so I’m guessing the news reports of her death were from “official-off-the-record” sources, and were a result of assumptions made in the confusion of the immediate aftermath that were passed up the official chain. My guess? Some police officer saw she was hit in the head and assumed she wouldn’t survive, so reported her as dead to his supervisor, who passed it up the chain.

    Heck, I’ve taken in someone with that kind of injury that and assumed they were dead but just hadn’t stopped breathing yet, and been surprised later to find out they were walking around with very little impairment. Based on her injuries, it wasn’t an unreasonable assumption to make.

  • @ JP: I remember commenting in #gunbloggerconspiracy that it was going to be hours before we could accurately determine if the Representative was dead or not, only to be told that multiple sources were authoritatively stating that she was, in fact, deceased. With the increasingly pervasive nature of on-the-scene reporting will come the invariably knee-jerk reaction of people who are inexperienced, do not have all the facts, or simply do not know better…

    But, by the same token, one would think that it would also give us footage of the event.

    @ Gaston: Thanks for commenting that… as I said in the email, it echos a lot of similar thoughts I have been having over the past few days, especially over the misuse and abuse of the myth of “collective responsibility”, as it has been warped over the years. Some people did have direct and personal influence over the shooter’s life, and it could easily be argued that they may have fallen down in the past… however, attempting to blame the entirety of a certain demographic of law-abiding citizens is foolishness to the extreme, and more than adequately demonstrates that those who are doing the blaming do not give a crap about the actual deaths or crime, only that they can exploit it to their own distasteful purposes.

    @ The Freeholder: Good to hear that I am not the only one thinking of this… again, I am not trying to start or continue any kind of rumors or anything, I simply find the black-out strange… and it could easily be explained by people being uncomfortable posting such things online (a sentiment I can fully understand).

    @ Jake: That I can definitely agree with, and I do not really fault anyone for making a call to a family indicating that she had been killed… but it is still misinformation, and it will still spread faster now than ever before. But why are the other pieces of information about the incident not likewise permeating?

  • Even if nothing was on the MSM, I would have thought it would have filtered to the net and maybe youtube. What kind of event was it? I know some of them are pretty strict on not allowing photography, I thought particularly if its a fundraiser / pseudo fundraiser.

  • So far as I am aware, this was a “Congress on Your Corner” event, wherein average folks are invited to come and question, hang out with, and meet their federal representatives… I do not think there would have been anything barring folks from bringing recording devices.