Friday, July 20, 2012

Let His Name be Stricken from the Earth

I was not planning on two posts today, and there are very good reasons why I should not blog and post about the events of early this morning at all.

Today, Aurora, CO joins the select club of cities whose name is forever linked with a mass shooting.  As this story unfolds, it appears this may well be the biggest mass shooting in U.S. history.

On April 3, 2009 Binghamton, NY (where I work) joined that select list, the list you never, ever want to have your city or town join, the list of places where mass shootings took place. So, in a way, I felt this horror again with the Ft. Hood shooting, and again with the Tuscon shooting.  Now I feel that horror again with Aurora, Colorado, only a few short miles from Littleton, CO.

A profiler interviewed on CNN talked about the type of person who would have done this shooter, and how they thrive on publicity.  The more publicity, the better. It validates the shooter.  It gives meaning to his or her life. Of course, after this interview, CNN went right back to their coverage.

So why am I blogging about this?  Because we in Binghamton have a glimmering (only a glimmering, mind you) of what the people of Aurora are going through.  In a way it may actually a comfort to have the media there.  That's how it felt here.

It means someone cares.

But in the coming day, the same old same old will be so predictable.  The politicians, attracted to the scene by the smell of political points to be made.  The pro gun control people.  The anti gun control people.  And there will be millions of words written about the alleged shooter.  At least our shooter had the decency to kill himself at the end of his shooting spree, as much as it left his family totally devastated (and eventually leaving the area). They were blameless.  But because of that, our Binghamton shooter couldn't see himself being made famous, except perhaps from the next world.  And eventually, his fame went away.

Hmmm. I think that profiler has a good point.

Yes, let the good people of Aurora know that they are in the thoughts and prayers of those living in Binghamton, New York, and in cities and towns all over the United States.  Yes, let's celebrate the lives of those killed.  We need to do that.  The citizens of Aurora need us to do that, based on what we experienced in Binghamton, New York.

But not one more word about the shooter.  Let there be silence.  Let every journalist in this country agree not to write or utter his name or write anything about him.  No interviews at the store where he bought his weapons.  No interviews with his neighbors.  Let his trial not be covered by the media, but let it be known only to the judge and jury and lawyers.  Let all authors, bloggers and tweeters agree that they will not tell his story.  Let no one make a penny off of this.  Let his name be stricken from the earth.

Let's have a conspiracy of silence. For once.


  1. Powerful piece! And I absolutely agree that we should NOT be giving this dirt bag any publicity. Negative or otherwise. I couldn't care less how his family thought he was "such a nice boy" and how they "can't believe he would do something like this," and that they "wish they had seen the signs..."

    It's the same story each time, isn't it?

  2. You make a good point about the publicity. I am in the Oklahoma City metro area, where we've had both a shooting and a bombing. Our gunman also took his own life, but not our bomber. It makes me sad that when people hear his name, it is our home they think of.

    I do always have sympathy for the families of the perpetrators, though. You are right: they're generally blameless, but they are forever doomed to be the parents/spouses/friends who didn't do enough to stop the tragedy. I wonder what kind of hate or fear is so large in the minds of these killers that they are willing to destroy not just the innocent strangers, but also those who care most for them in the world.

  3. Yes, you are so right; let us please stop the publicity. Please, let the media just report the facts and stop all of the speculating.

    I remember that day in Binghamton. My son was on a school field trip to the Roberson Center that day, and I was a nervous wreck until he got home safely!


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