December 29, 2012
We know that mass killers — the ones who shoot a bunch of people before turning the gun on themselves — do it because they want to go out in a blaze of glory.
Disturbed people see the attention that mass murderers get: names and pictures are in the media for weeks, months, even years on end. Those who go on a murderous rampage make a name for themselves. They become part of our history and culture. Disturbed people see this and want a piece of the action. So they kill, too.
We in the media have to stop giving them what they want. Let’s make a deal among ourselves.
First, no pictures of any kind. No one needs know what the killer looked like. And, as time passes, no one will care.
Second, limit using the killer’s name as much as possible. We don’t need to write drawn-out biographies or soul-searching features about what drove him to it. If compelled to write something along these lines, keep it general — don’t mention names.
These creeps want to force their anonymous sickness on the rest of us, but we don’t have to let them. Time after time, we play into their hands. It has to stop. We need to admit some responsibility and do our part.