Monday, October 5, 2015

Copy Cat Infamy

Last week, 26 year old, Harper Mercer shot 9 people and injured several more at a community college in Oregon. The killer walked into school armed with several guns and ammunition, then proceeded to shoot people who said they were Christian. Mercer eventually met his fate in a shootout with the police. After investigating into Mercer's personal life, a blog he had written was discovered and it said that he longed for "the attention given to Vester Lee Flanagan after he shot a television reporter and cameraman". This shows that the sole reason for this shooting was for the couple days of fame where everyone would know his name.

        I believe that the shooters name should never be broadcasted to the public. I feel as though this will prevent more tragedies like this one from occurring. By showing the killers name and allowing them to become famous for it, the media could possibly cause another person to commit a horrible act to achieve the same fame. In addition, by showing Mercers name, his family will be alienated in their small community, as they were outed for owning guns and raising a killer. In the future, the perpetrator in devastating events should solely be identified by their first name or as "the killer". 

       Rather than talking about the killer and the horrible act they committed, I feel as though the heroes, victims, and survivors lives should be highlighted. For example; An army veteran named Chris Mintz charged at the shooter in an attempt to protect other students. As a result he was shot 7 times and has recently gone into surgery. An 18 year old victim named Anastasia, also had an incredibly brave story. After being shot in th back by Mercer she proceeded to play dead even after the shooter called out to her. This shows incredible bravery and intelligence, as she was able to remain calm during an awful situation and save herself from becoming a victim.  

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  1. I agree. I do think the media has done a better job recently on focusing on the act and not the name. However, the media has to give a name. It would look odd to read an article without a name. Maybe, the media can only give the last name.

  2. I also agree. This type of motive is not new and so long as we continue to give fame to killers, it will continue to inspire more. However, you also gave way to this type of reporting as you mentioned the killer's name.

  3. I wrote my blog on this same incedent in Oregon. I agree; I think what Mintz did was exremly admirable, and that he should get a lot more fame than the shooter. I do think, though, that possible restrictions on naming killers would infringe on our first amendment right, and it would be changing that.

  4. I think it's and interesting take you had on the subject. I never really thought about all the different ways someone might do this for. I also agree that Mintz definitely should be talked about more than the killer.