60 Minutes did a story recently about the impact of publicity on mass killers. Many of them have only one last wish – to be remembered as a violent killer. They feel forgotten and anonymous – and a rampage shooting guarantees them a public spotlight. We must STOP promoting these killers and simply give them a number and NO PUBLICITY! Their stories are highly motivating to OTHER potential rampage killers – so let’s stop giving them rampage hero stories to worship!
Rampage shooters crave the spotlight, and we should do everything possible to deprive them of it.
After each awful episode, we suffer from the same misconceptions, says writer Ari Schulman in a discussion with WSJ’s Gary Rosen. To stop the spectacle of mass killings, we need to keep them from being spectacles. Photo: Reuters
Public shootings have become a familiar American spectacle in recent years, and two more occurred in recent weeks. The details are still unfolding, but so far these episodes seem to fit the general pattern. At Los Angeles International Airport, a young man entered a public area and started firing. Three days later, in the midst of intense media coverage of the first event, another young man did the same at a shopping mall in suburban New Jersey. One penned a note beforehand about his actions, the other a manifesto. Only the L.A. shooter appears to have meant to kill others, but both apparently planned to die in highly publicized blazes of terror.
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