A plea to members of the media

Dear Editor:

Every mass killer has the same ultimate goal: the notoriety and attention the act will bring them. Without exception, the media in its many forms obliges them, with their faces on the front page of every newspaper and broadcast on every television network, while countless reports describe every sordid detail of their lives. If this were to stop tomorrow, and it easily could, the single greatest motivator of these incidents would cease to exist.

In the name of social and moral responsibility, I call on the news media at large to set aside sales and viewership figures and voluntarily take this step to help ensure the safety of our populace. Let’s make the focus of the narrative those who have lost their lives, and the heroes who save lives. Let’s make it a cultural norm to relegate the stories, names and very existence of the killers to the rubbish bin of our collective memory, never to be spoken of again.

Larry Balchen