LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Stop giving shooters the attention they crave

With another school shooting comes another round of demands for new laws to prevent future shootings. However, in Texas the shooter used a handgun and a shotgun — both legally owned. What law would have prevented this? These were not the feared “assault weapons” that have been scapegoated after past shootings. He didn’t use high-capacity magazines. So what laws do we propose now? Now what is our answer?

While I don’t see the need for ordinary citizens to own semi-automatic rifles, I am also smart enough to understand that even if you ban these weapons the shootings will continue. Humans are far superior to anything else on the planet when it comes to problem solving, so if an individual wants to kill others, he or she will find a crack in the system and exploit it in order to do so.

Even if you were able to ban and remove all guns from the public, the killing would continue. This could mean stabbings, bombings, running people over with vehicles, or even something creative like poisoning or using chemical or biological agents. The point is, guns are not the problem — the intent to kill is.

I feel that in order to find a solution to any problem, you must first look at the cause or the motive. What do these shooters want? All of these young men have had basically the same motive in my opinion. They are unhappy, depressed, isolated and angry. They are hurting, and they want others to hurt as well. They want to make others pay for this life of despair and frustration that they lead. They feel that they are living in a prison already, so they do not care about what happens to their lives.

Why not go out with a bang, make yourself famous, and take a bunch of other people with you? Everyone else will know your name, your face, hear your story, sympathize with you, and finally give you the attention that you have desperately been seeking. It’s basically a cry for help, just on a tremendous scale.

In my opinion, this has been their common motive. This is what we must stop. We must stop plastering their face on the news. Stop telling their story. Stop going into every detail of their lives and pondering what made them do this. This is exactly what they want! They want to be famous and the media obliges them immediately.

When I saw that there was a shooting in Texas on my newsfeed, the very next article was titled “What we know about the shooter”. Giving him exactly what he wants before the blood has even dried.

If we are so intent on banning something, let’s try banning the media from releasing the shooter’s name, face and information. Do you really think that this would happen as much if no one would know the shooter and no one would hear their story after a rampage? Take away their fame and you take away their motive — and that’s what we need to try. Taking away legal guns from law-abiding citizens will not get the job done.

One thing we can give these shooters are some real consequences. Giving them a prison sentence is meaningless and pointless since their whole lives have been a prison to them anyway. No, terrifying acts deserve terrifying punishment.

In order to slow this trend down, shooters need to know going in that nobody will know their name. Nobody will see their face, and that they will await an awful end themselves.

Joshua Judy
Greenwood

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