letters | anger in the aftermath

Promise of notoriety spurs one violent misfit after another

Everyone cries, “Why?” as if they have no clue. They exclaim, “It’s incomprehensible,” as if one cannot hope to understand it. Whether it is a vendetta, a political statement, a mental condition, or a depraved yearning for retribution for a perceived injustice, the common theme is that each shooter is rewarded with national recognition on the front page, where his story is colorfully told, emblazoned in the timeline of sensational mass-killing history.

Media coverage replays the details of the shooter’s story and his motives on a grand stage while playing for ratings. And the previously unknown misfit dies with the assurance that he will achieve notoriety beyond his wildest dreams from a nation of gawking onlookers.

With such a predictable reward, it’s a wonder there aren’t even more such episodes. Given the abundance of desperate people in our society, this phenomenon will continue until the media stop elevating a shooter’s personal story.

Theodore L. Bosen