WASHINGTON – Shortly after Time announced that Barack Obama was the 2012 Person of the Year, word came out from insiders at the magazine that the decision was far from unanimous. Obama’s competition for the title was a figure that he barely beat out, and one who he completely ignored for the first term of his presidency. This figure is “The Lone Gunman” and, until the last minute, he was supposed to be named Time’s Person of the Year.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney spoke exclusively to Newslo regarding the honor, “this isn’t the Nobel Peace Prize, nobody really wants to be Times Person of the Year,” he explained. “I mean he’s not going to give it back, but he’s definitely not celebrating. For God’s sake, they’ve given it to Hitler, Stalin, and even Ayotollah Khomeini. They give it to anyone who has an impact on society. Mark Zuckerberg got it from his dorm room and he didn’t even speak to anyone in person.”
Throughout 2012, one figure has returned again and again in the news, in an accelerating series of atrocities that have come to define the year and have devastated the nation’s collective feeling of security. The editors at Time, however, decided to opt for Obama once again in light of his soothing post-tragedy appearance, and in the hope that he will find a way to solve the problems the Lone Gunman has brought to the forefront. Also, choosing Obama worked great last time around. Time editors are split on the choice and some still hold onto the unused decision that, for irreversibly shaking the notion of personal safety, for triggering urgent discussion that extends to all different aspects of our society, and for causing us to question the basic aspects of our cultural identity, the Lone Gunman should have been the Time 2012 Person of the Year.
This past year, the United States saw an accelerating trend of mass shootings in all parts of the country and in seemingly all the institutions of our culture, concluding with the second deadliest in American history. A mall in Oregon. A movie theater in Colorado. A place of worship in Wisconsin. And an elementary school in Connecticut. The nation was forced to collective hysteria, and to new levels of fear that have perhaps permanently changed the idea of personal safety.
“You wonder if anywhere is ever completely safe anymore,” said Janet H., a mother of two from Chardon, Ohio. “Schools, churches, malls, you aren’t totally secure in any of them. The real question is where hasn’t a mass shooting occurred?”
An unnamed source at Times still convinced it shouldn’t have been Obama told Newslo, “the power the Lone Gunman wields, what makes him so terrifying and so influential, is how deeply he makes us confront the institutions we hold so dear. However, the Time’s editors chose Obama this year in hopes he’ll confront the Lone Gunman, and that he will ultimately succeed in eradicating the horror forced upon this great nation.”