Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I Don't Want to Hear It

I was listening to Ben Markus on NPR reporting on the Aurora trial, driving slowly because I was paying more attention to his words than to the traffic around me.

At least I wasn't texting.

The trial of the young man accused of opening fire in a Colorado movie theater in 2012 is expected to take six months.  The lawyers are introducing an insanity defense, so there will be days of explication and elucidation before the details of the shooter's mental state are exposed.

Will it make a difference?  He wielded the weaponry which took and damaged the lives of people whose only offense was watching a Batman movie.  Of that, there is no doubt.  Was he insane?  Does it matter?  Perhaps, as Ben Markus said, only in the penalty phase.  His lawyers are expected to use the details to of his mental illness to lay the groundwork for a prison sentence instead of a death sentence.

I managed to tell you all of that without once mentioning the name of the perpetrator.  NPR was unable to accomplish the same feat.

Every time he mentioned the killer's name, I cringed.  I can only imagine what Caren Teves and the other survivors of the murdered must feel.

I have never been so grateful for the fact that we were spared a trial here in Tucson.  The pre-trial hearings were devastating enough.  I shook, I sweated, I cried. The person at the center of it all was the person responsible for tragedy and grief and pain and I didn't want to have to think about him ... ever.  The thought of preparing for a lengthy trial, both as a spectator and as a witness, left me weary.

Our shooter is shut away forever.  He need never be mentioned again.  The Aurora victims and their families and friends do not have that option.  Their event will be front and center, amidst riots and championships and Back to School specials, for half of the coming year.

I can only hope that the Teves's campaign to bring No Notoriety to the perpetrators of these events resonates with the reporters standing in the Colorado sunshine.

No pictures, no name, nothing.  Let's remember the people on the receiving ends of the bullets.  Let's not promote the person who sent those bullets through them.

I'd rather that the newscasters refer to them with a rotation of names, something like this:
The murderer of Alex Teves went on trial today.... 
The killer of Martin Richard faces sentencing...... 
The man who took the lives of kindergartners Ana Marquez-Greene and Grace McDonnell and Noah Pozner....
Remember the innocents.  Let the felons molder in obscurity, where they belong.

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