"He is a terrorist, he is a criminal, he is an extremist, but he will, when I speak, be nameless..."
The deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand history left more than 50 people dead, more than 50 people injured, dozens of families and friends in unimaginable devastation, a whole country in anguish and the entire world in heartache and sadness, while the perpetrator remains behind bars for the rest of his life, and his notoriety remains unclaimed.
Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand has become the powerful and inspirational force and face behind the Christchurch mosque shooting. Instead of allowing the shooter the gratification and fame he was desperately searching for, she refused to allow his name to become headline news for each article that was circulated. She emphasized the importance to mourn the victims and recognize the lives lost instead of accrediting the face of the vicious man who led the attack.
Jacinda Ardern made sure to handle the situation with resilience and empathy and become an inspirational face to everyone around the world.
"You will never hear me mention his name," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told the New Zealand Parliament Tuesday. "He is a terrorist, he is a criminal, he is an extremist, but he will, when I speak, be nameless, and to others, I implore you: Speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them. He may have sought notoriety but we in New Zealand will give him nothing — not even his name."
"He is a terrorist, he is a criminal, he is an extremist, but he will, when I speak, be nameless, and to others, I implore you: Speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them. He may have sought notoriety but we in New Zealand will give him nothing — not even his name."
With increasing gun availability and an unhealthy obsession with fame, mass shootings continue to happen.
Jacinda Ardern is taking the right route by refusing to allow this heinous murderer the chance to receive any spotlight.
In a 2015 article discussing American mass shootings called, "Why America is Prone to Mass Shootings" a criminal justice professor says, "Likewise, reality television and talk shows vault people into the limelight for bad behavior, Lankford said.
"There is a 'fame at any cost' mentality," he said. And many mass killers explicitly cite fame as their motivation: A quick Google search for "wanted to top Columbine" reveals multiple news articles about killers or would-be killers mentioning the 1999 school shooting as their inspiration."We know that a lot of public mass shooters, particularly when they're young, have admitted that they really want to be famous, and that killing is how they're going to do it," Lankford said.
"We know that a lot of public mass shooters, particularly when they're young, have admitted that they really want to be famous and that killing is how they're going to do it," Lankford said.
Murder should never be glorified and sometimes without even realizing it, new outlets and media create and attract copycat perpetrators and sick minds that search for the same fame.
Jacinda Ardern is an inspiration and a leader who was able to take quick action after the tragedy. She personally wore a hijab to show her respect and reassure and sympathize with the Muslim community and the families and people affected by the shooting. She worked quickly to tighten New Zealand gun laws and stuck to her word by banning assault rifles, while members of the community also voluntarily handed in weapons themselves before the ban was even intact. She immediately worked on preventing this horrific incident from ever happening again and members of the community did as well by being the victims and members affected.
She is a leader who should be admired globally, while the perpetrator remains unnamed and behind bars.
For the sake of the 50 lives lost, including a 3-year-old young boy who my heart aches for every day.
For the 50 lives lost, in a place of sanction where the members of the Christchurch mosques were supposed to feel protected.
For the 50 lives lost, on a day where they expected to peacefully finish prayer and return home to their loved ones.
For the 50 lives lost, and the brave souls that dove in front of others to protect them.
For the 50 lives lost, in a place where they prayed for a better tomorrow and thanked the Lord for the lives they were given.
For the 50 lives lost, abruptly taken on a Friday, the most sacred day of worship for Muslims.
For the 50 lives, that shouldn't have been lost.
And for the 50 lives that should be here today.
For the 50 angels in heaven now.
The man who attempted to tear a country apart with hate has failed and it is important to never utter his name in recognition.
To a community that stuck together and showed their tributes and unified to work together to ensure that this never happened again, I have the ultimate respect for you.
The locals of New Zealand stated,
Together we grieve. And together we work to prevent.
This is what I call perseverance, unification, leadership, and empathy in a time of horror.
May those beautiful souls rest in peace.