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Wed Jul 25, 2012, 10:30 AM

Why Obama Shouldn’t Write James Holmes Out of History - John Cassidy/ New Yorker

July 23, 2012
Why Obama Shouldn’t Write James Holmes Out of History
Posted by John Cassidy

Among the snippets of depressing news from Aurora, Colorado: President Obama, during his visit on Sunday, reportedly agreed to a request from some of the victims families not to mention the name of the alleged shooter, James Holmes, who appeared in court earlier today, his shaggy hair dyed orange.

On a personal level, the attempt to deny Holmes more publicity was perfectly understandable. Who can imagine what suffering and anguish the victims families are going through, or the hatred and anger they must feel toward Holmes? Having mercilessly snuffed out twelve lives, as he is alleged to have done, why shouldn’t he be declared a non-person? Actually, I can think of at least two good reasons.

First, wishing Holmes away won’t do any good. It might well do harm. Arguably, the problem with deranged mass killers isn’t that they get too much publicity; it’s that they get too little. Generally, after a few weeks or months, many people forget their names; after a few years, almost everybody has forgotten them. Both they and their victims fade into obscurity and the gun violence continues.

If you think I’ve got this wrong, try taking this little test. Here is a list of places and dates associated with mass shootings. Can you name the shooters associated with them? Austin, Texas, 1966; Fullerton, California, 1976; San Ysidro, California, 1984; Edmond, Oklahoma, 1986; Killeen, Texas, 1991; Jonesboro, Arkansas, 1998; Littleton, Colorado, 1999; Brookfield, Wisconsin, 2005; Blacksburg, Virginia, 2007; Binghamton, New York, 2009; Tucson, Arizona, 2011.

How did you do?

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Reply Why Obama Shouldn’t Write James Holmes Out of History - John Cassidy/ New Yorker (Original post)
Mira Jul 2012 OP
farmbo Jul 2012 #1

Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 11:08 AM

1. Actually I got 3 of them...which is 3 more than the victims I could name

Cassidy's basic premise is demonstrably wrong. We as a society are not going to prevent future slaughters by giving these executioners the media spotlight they so desperately crave.
They would much rather die in infamy than live in obscurity.

If these cowards knew in advance that their names (and pictures--always the pictures!) would never be spoken or published again, their vainglorious motivation would be lost.

In our legal system, courts have upheld censoring the names of rape or sexual assault victims through our so called rape shield laws. Moreover, confidential sources enjoy identity protection when leaking stories to the media.

Why should deranged mass murderers have rights under the First Amendment to be sought- after media darlings?

If such a change change saved even a single life it would be a societal sacrifice worth making

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