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If It Is Fame They Want, It Is Anonymity They Should Get

In the wake of the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, let us recognize our mistake of giving fame to murderers, and change it for the future.

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It is a sad truth in today's world that the broadcasting of human tragedies on our television and computers screens, with commercials in between and commentary by uninvolved people, makes the event at hand become sadly sensationalized. But the public expects to press a button and have access to any and all information regarding a noteworthy event. In truth, it is a spectacular thing that we have this capability. However, it is my opinion that when it comes to the mass killings that our world faces, such as the Boston Marathon bombing or the Sandy Hook shooting, the murderers should not be televised. This would not be to protect their identity. This would not be to protect their privacy. It would be to prevent these people from gaining the infamy they so desire.

The possibility of instantaneous fame in our digital age is truly a wonderful, yet dangerous thing. I choose to say dangerous because it seems to me that this possibility of fame is a driving force in the actions of these despicable killers. Whatever their motive, they know it will be televised along with their face and their story. They see an avenue that will take them straight to the front page of the newspaper and to the top of the nightly news broadcast. And what better way to create an impact? Which is surely what the vast majority of these people intend to do.

And how does the media respond to this? By giving each of these murderers exactly what they wanted: recognition and fame. What is to deter the next troubled soul from following suit? The answer is nothing. If anything, every mention of a killer like this merely adds fuel to the successor's fire, leaving them conspiring how to ensure that their face will also be paraded to the world.

It seems to me that a much more prudent way to deal with this situation would be to respond with the opposite of whatever the villain wanted. No photos should be shown, no background story provided, no speculation into motives. I do concede that there are situations in which broadcasting a photo can greatly help in the finding and capturing of suspects. And in these situations, I say to simply be tactful. And once the person is in custody, their fifteen minutes of fame should expire. You simply cannot give people like this the satisfaction of global recognition and expect others like them not to perceive it as glory. But stripping that glory away removes an enormous incentive to committing these crimes, thus, hopefully, decreasing the frequency of them.

I conclude by simply saying that if it is fame they want, it is anonymity they should get.

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