I know it's an unpleasant topic but think about the past few years and the mass shootings or bombings that have taken place. How many perpetrator names can you remember off the top of your head? How many victim names can you remember?
Chances are, you know more names of mass shooters than their victims.
In a speech to Parliament, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she would never mention the name of the man who murdered 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand.
In my opinion, this is a great example to set and one that we should have started following years ago.
If a mass murderer is on the run and still hasn't been found, by all means, plaster their face everywhere. But if they're no longer a danger to anyone, showing people their name and face is only glorifying them.
I understand wanting to hear the full story. When a tragedy like the one in New Zealand happens, it's only natural to want to know who could commit such an atrocity.
But there are too many unintended consequences to this, especially in cases when the perpetrator was a part of a terrorist organization or, like the New Zealand shooter, a white supremacist.
What if someone reads their story and agrees with them? What if they want to become a terrorist, white supremacist, etc. themselves?
Also, if someone commits mass murder, they probably want to become infamous and gain notoriety. By showing their name and face all over the internet, we are playing into what these monsters want.
The best example I can think of is when the man who bombed the Boston Marathon in 2013 was on the cover of Rolling Stone. This photo was not a mugshot or anything of that kind. It was a normal photo. Anyone glancing at the cover probably would have thought he was a rockstar.
How anyone thought this was a good idea baffles me. What kind of message does that send to twisted people thinking about committing mass murder when they see a murderer on a magazine cover with names like Jay-Z and Willie Nelson on it?
As a society, it's up to us to make sure that something like that doesn't happen again. And the biggest step we can take toward doing that is making sure we never utter the name of another mass murderer again and instead do some reading on the victims.
The victims are the ones that had their lives unfairly taken by these monsters. They deserve more than anyone to be remembered.