As I write this, the news reports coming out of the elementary school in Connecticut are not good. My heart breaks for the families affected by the tragedy, and I will be keeping them in my prayers this week. As I posted on my Facebook feed, this isn’t the time for politics. Today is a day for prayer and for empathy, and I ask everyone who posts here to respect that. There will be other times and other days for that.
Related: although I’m a strong believer in learning from other people’s experiences, I’m definitely not one of those trainers or pundits who will immediately scurry into the limelight with flashy videos and fresh articles after an atrocity like this. Frankly, we don’t have enough reliable information to work with. And even if we did, the information will be there tomorrow, or the next day, or next week. Today isn’t the day for that.
In days to come, there will be lessons we can learn from this horror, just as there are lessons we can learn from other types of violent crime. When the time comes to talk about those lessons, I will do everything in my power to discuss the events with honesty, clarity, and compassion.
But there is one thing I will not do.
I will not name the murderer. I will not link to his scribblings or post his picture. I will not contribute to the sick cult of celebrity that drives copycats after events like this.
Why not? Well, because this:
(h/t to Tamara.)
And because I agree with Matt G when he writes:
Every time someone clicks to go to these sites, then the vultures who linked to the stories, with Tweets and stories and teasers of his name and what he did– they feel validated. The end justifies the means. Their job is to get people to come to their site. They did it. Good job!
Ever think of the cost, though?
It would be an unusual reader here who didn’t know the names of the murderers at Columbine. In the months that followed that massacre, the names and pictures of K. and H. were splashed across the media like so much blood. That’s notoriety. To a demented mind considering going out in a blaze of… something… that’s star power, right there. Who remembers the names of the victims, though?