Families and friends of people murdered by mass shooters are asking the media to stop publicizing the names of the killers, the New York Times reports.
For families, it is a small way to fight back. Their hope is that refusing to name the actors will mute the effects of their actions, and prevent other angry, troubled young men from being inspired by the infamy of those who opened fire at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech or Newtown, Conn.
The effort is also about finding some relief. Almost a year after Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, was killed, her daughter Erica Lafferty walked into the lobby of MSNBC to give an interview. It was the day state investigators released their report on the massacre, and Ms. Lafferty said she looked up at the television screens to see the hollow face of the 20-year-old who had shot her mother.
“Why do I have to read his name? Why do I have to hear his name?” Ms. Lafferty said. “It’s so painful to see.”