The name of a murderer becomes famous. It is a simple fact. The flipside of that story is that, unfortunately, the names of murder victims are quickly forgotten. This reality hits hard, especially for the family and friends of murder victims. It is time for this to change. The only way to make that happen is to focus on the victims and give the murderer as little press as possible. This is the goal following the mass murder in an Aurora, Colo., movie theatre.
Jordan Ghawi, brother of murder victim Jessica Ghawi, has asked the media to avoid focusing on the killer and focus on the lives lost in this tragic killing spree. He said that by focusing on the victims, you do not give the killer the attention he is seeking. He also said that when you focus on the victims, you are paying tribute to their lives instead of making their murderer famous.
Colorado’s 9 News will no longer air stories with the names of the victims of the movie theatre killing rampage in connection with their murderer. This is to ensure that he does not receive the attention he was most likely seeking. They will be covering the trial as well as his story- however they have vowed to avoid connecting any of it to his victims. They have also decided to air a warning prior to mentioning his name. They are doing this out of respect to the victims as well as their family and friends. This is a move that should be mirrored by all media covering this tragedy.
President Obama has also called for the focus to stay on the victims. The president visited some of the families of the murder victims as well as some of those victims recovering in the hospital over the weekend. The Chicago Times reports the president said, "Although the perpetrator of this evil act has received a lot of attention over the last couple of days, that attention will fade away, and in the end, after he has felt the full force of our justice system, what will be remembered are the good people who were impacted by this tragedy."
As our state and our nation move forward toward healing from this tragic event, one this is becoming very apparent- if you want to dissuade someone from trying to become “famous” by committing mass murder, you will need to keep their names out of the limelight. This is a lesson that may help prevent even further senseless tragedies from occurring. By encouraging the focus of the media to shift from the perpetrator to the victim, we are refusing to offer fame to someone that has destroyed families, devastated communities and taken innocent lives.