Media, Stop Publishing the Names of Mass Murderers, You’re Getting Us Killed

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Media, Stop Publishing the Names and photos of Mass Murderers, You're Getting Us Killed

Canada – -(Ammoland.com)- Mass murderers, mentally-ill or not, are most often motivated by a desire for notoriety, to rack up a bigger body count than their predecessors. When media outlets focus on the killer, almost to the exclusion of the victims, they promote grotesque crimes and give the killer exactly what they want: significance.

The Canadian Shooting Sports Association believes media outlets must stop publishing the names of mass murderers. Stop giving these fame-seeking killers the notoriety they seek.

We were pleasantly surprised to see Global News openly address this issue shortly after news of the shooting spree broke.

“We don’t know yet who did it, only that he was a 29-year-old man. He is dead after fleeing the scene. But when police do release his name, should reporters broadcast it to the public? Will blanketing coverage with his name and his photo do more harm than good?”

That unanswered question came shortly before Global News (and every other major Canadian media outlet) identified Sunday night’s killer, opting for ratings instead of responsibility.

Their coverage, like everyone else’s, focused on the murderer, his long history of severe mental health issues and his family’s public statement of condolences. Reporting on the victims of this terrible tragedy were almost an afterthought.

Research shows publishing the names of mass murderers sparks a contagion effect. In the wake of each mass shooting, others occur shortly afterward due to the non-stop publicity given the killer.

Jennifer Johnston and Andrew Joy presented their research into this contagion effect at the 2016 American Psychological Association convention.

“If the mass media and social media enthusiasts make a pact to no longer share, reproduce or retweet the names, faces, detailed histories or long-winded statements of killers, we could see a dramatic reduction in mass shootings in one to two years. Even conservatively, if the calculations of contagion modelers are correct, we should see at least a one-third reduction in shootings if the contagion is removed,” Johnston said.

Like all rights, the right of a free press comes with responsibilities. Where is the media’s responsibility in the wake of this latest mass shooting?

It's in the trash bin, right beside their honesty and integrity.

The 10-year-old victim, Julianna Kozis, was from Markham, Ontario, police say (Image: Toronto Police)
The 10-year-old victim, Julianna Kozis, was from Markham, Ontario, police say (Image: Toronto Police)

Where are the news stories celebrating the life of 18-year-old Reese Fallon, mercilessly executed in the street as she tried to run away?

Or the stories about the murdered 10-year-old girl? Or any of the 13 innocent people wounded in this horrific attack?

The media prefers to sell story after story focused on the Toronto killer and, in doing so, ensures his place in the Mass Murderers' Hall of Fame.

Promoting mass murderers and glorifying their heinous crimes for money is far more important than doing what is right – relegating these cowards to the garbage bin of obscurity.

Will the media stop glorifying mass murderers and their crimes?

Not so long as it sells ad space and increases television ratings. The old media axiom of, “if it bleeds it leads,” was never truer than it is today.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the parents of the murdered 10-year-old girl, the parents of 18-year-old Reese Fallon and the 13 people wounded in this terrible attack.

We hope the press will listen to our plea and stop giving these killers the fame they seek.

Only then will these horrific killings end.

Sources:

  • https://globalnews.ca/news/4347403/name-gunmen-mass-violence/
  • https://globalnews.ca/news/4346833/danforth-shooting-what-we-know-about-suspect/
  • https://www.guns.com/2016/08/09/are-the-media-helping-spread-mass-shootings/

Canadian Shooting Sports AssociationAbout Canadian Shooting Sports Association:

The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes Canada's firearms heritage, traditional target shooting competition, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor competitions and youth programs that promote these Canadian heritage activities. Website www.cdnshootingsports.org

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    Carlo Di FalcoOldvetTionicowilly dGraystone Recent comment authors
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    Carlo Di Falco
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    Carlo Di Falco

    I would like to thank Canadian Shooting Sports Association for that article. We are seeing this copycat effect in post Port Arthur Massacre Australia. In the days, weeks, months and years afterwards, the focus on Walter Mickac being pushed forward as the face of the tragedy has unintended consequence of familial massacres. Walter lost his 2 daughters and wife to Martin Bryant. Within 12 months, there was the second massacre involving a knife. the only 2 massacres in Tasmania in the 20th century. Since 1996, there have been 9 massacres (4 or more victims excluding the perp). Of these, 23… Read more »

    Oldvet
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    Oldvet

    WELL…apparently the post from my cell phone didn’t make it through censorship so …
    What do you expect from a generation of gamers who’s only focus in life is to have a higher “body count” than everyone else.

    willy d
    Guest
    willy d

    It is the same old same old, They Don’t want to step on or offend anybody but they want their so called news to be on top at all times. also it has to play into their agenda at that time! Just look at the school shootings, when we have one of them, the media goes out and plasters the shooters name all over, nothing about the victims only condolences, like a hollow remark, or passing thought, with only the shooter, the gun used, how it was purchased, not on mental state, drugs, it only does that after the fact,… Read more »

    Mark
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    Mark

    It’s been brought up many times but freedom of the press ,which is a pack of left wing lunatics, has to sensationalize things of this nature and put out all the information, and yes I’m sure that it excites the killers.

    Graystone
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    Graystone

    O.K. Let’s place the blame where it really be longs – on the back of the people who “need” to know “all” the details!
    Stop it! Don’t give these stories any acknowledgement, what so ever. And, sadly, I admit I’m as guilty as the rest for even posting my opinion.

    Oldvet
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    Oldvet

    What do you expect when a whole generation is solely focused on video games and a higher “body count” then everyone else.

    Wild Bill
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    Wild Bill

    @OV, hey! Long time no hear from. I could not agree more. Canadians should be watching their politicians and securing their civil rights, but that is none of by business. I have my hands full just watching my politicians and keeping my Constitutional Civil Rights.

    Docduracoat
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    Docduracoat

    I do agree with you that giving these killers publicity encourages copycat killings.
    However, I find it interesting that when the name is one associated with the “religion of peace”, we hear a lot about his mental illness and nothing about his trips to Pakistan.
    The Toronto killer may have been mentally ill, but he was a tourist to both Afghanistan and Pakistan who was named Faisal.
    I see a connect to Islamic terror even if he also had a history of mental illness

    Joe
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    Joe

    I often hear the media’s excuse for publishing names of killers as “the public has a right to know.” Or, even better, “the public has a need to know.” I can find a constitutionally protected right to speak freely, although even that right is modified when speaking freely can cause harm such as the oft given example that one cannot yell “fire” when there is none and which causes panic and injury. But there is no such principal that attaches to the phrases “need or right to know.” I wholly agree that the media’s printing, and glorifying, the names of… Read more »

    Chris Mallory
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    Chris Mallory

    It serves the purpose of getting the truth to the public instead of forcing the public to accept what ever the government tells us.

    Your “not printing the name” has more in common with Stalin’s air brushing photographs than anything in the US.

    Robert S
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    Robert S

    Because the name, likeness and personal biography of the mass murderer is oh so important for you to know, eh Chris? Your life and that of your family, friends and neighbors – heck, even national security! – depends upon the public receiving endless coverage of the killer’s childhood traumas and his Facebook posts and his high school yearbook photos? All that information may be useful to police investigators and psychological researchers studying the pathology of mass murderers and serial killers, but it serves the public nothing of value except lurid entertainment.

    Tionico
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    Tionico

    After the “incident” at Columbine High School the names, histories, quirks, manner of dress, guns they used, etc, were all over the press. Within days there were young kids CHOOSING to dress like these two did. It didn’t take long before a few copycat wannabe clowns made attempts at gaining similar fame. Instead of broadcasting the names and life history of these wretched perps, simply refer to the incidents as Virgina Tech, Columbine, Fort Hood One and Two, Navy Yard, Sandy Hook, then the focus will not be on the freaks who committed these horrrific crimes but rather the damage… Read more »

    Wild Bill
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    Wild Bill

    @Joe, Are you applying American Constitutional principles to Canada? Even in the U.S. where there is a Constitution and a First Amendment, there is no “public’s right to know”. Often said by reporters to get something that they are after, a “public’s right to know” does not exist. If there were a “public’s right to know” then the federal government would be forcing the media to print or broadcast all kinds of information … for free. What there is, in the First Amendment, is a proscription against prior restraint. In other words once the lying, busybody, propagandist/reporter has something, the… Read more »

    Nottinghill
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    Nottinghill

    I sent many letters to congress and POTUS in 2012 to stop the glorification these killers (and the meds causing them) in the media during the Sandy Hook shootings but did this incident stop like any of the others before that one… No! They DO NOT care who gets killed or hurt! It’s ALL about Marxist manipulation to step on the 2A and to get ratings and for the elected, memes to get re-elected. That’s our beloved psychopaths in MSM, Corporate USA and the Gov’t.