Identifying Killers Can be Overdone but is Sometimes Needed


What does obscuring killers' faces really accomplish — besides virtue signaling and looking stupid, to boot?

U.S.A. – -( “Should media avoid naming the gunmen in mass shootings?” an Associated Press follow-up on the New Zealand mosque murders asks. “Criminologists who study mass shootings say the vast majority of shooters are seeking infamy and soak up the coverage as a guide.”

It’s nice to see our “news” organizations finally catching up. Gun owner rights advocates have been pleading the case to tone down “gratuitous” publicizing for years. And it’s also not lost on those tuned in to such things that the term “gunmen” is a way for those with an agenda and wide reach to disparage both guns and men.

I confess to mixed motivations over naming names.

The latest maniac, in his “manifesto”, dismissed notoriety as one of his goals, writing:

Q: Did you carry out the attack for fame?

No, carrying out an attack for fame would be laughable…

I don't know if that holds true for all, but the point is none of us has conclusive information to state with certainty how prevalent the desire for media “immortality” among killers is. Without those who argue otherwise documenting how they “know” their thesis is true, all we have are their subjective opinions.

Making feelings-based conclusions is what gun-grabbers do, and suppressing information — even (especially) if it's ugly — does not serve the interests of the truth.

Without the ability to check what we are being told for ourselves, we are dependent on what “authorities” pass on to the “Authorized Journalists” to parrot. Unfortunately, social media sites are generally quick to join in the scrubbing, but that doesn't happen instantly and there's often a window of opportunity to see what our own unfiltered research can uncover.

If all the public can learn is what is decided by the government and establishment press to tell them, the meme that the murderer was a Trump-supporting conservative would go unchallenged. We'd have no way to learn anything about the killer that contradicts their “right-wing’ narrative, such as:

“I mostly agree with Sir Oswald Mosley’s views and consider myself an Eco-fascist by nature. The nation with the closest political and social values to my own is the People’s Republic of China.”

But don’t expect to see a “Commie Killer Exploits Gun-Free Zone for Bloodbath” headline on CNN.

His ideological “mentor” Mosley was a genuine fascist, not one of the people who believe in individual liberty that Antifa, and increasingly, “progressive” (national socialist) Democrats, smear with that insult. So it’s hardly surprising the New Zealand killer disparaged what he called “the myth of the individual.”

That's what the Bill of Rights is about.

As I said, I have mixed feelings about withholding names and I don't disagree with the “gratuitous” qualifier our friends recommend. I have even with held photos and names myself on occasion when they were widely available else and their inclusion was not necessary for the information I wished to convey.

In this case, it’s not gratuitous to post the “suspect’s” name, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, and the name of his manifesto, “The Great Replacement.” These are relevant for two reasons: To dispel the lies, and also to be able to search for the rapidly-disappearing video of the slaughter in progress. While extremely disturbing to watch, a gun owner with even a modest level of training will be able to identify numerous times when an armed defender would have had a chance to drop the monster in his tracks and stop the killing.

That needs to be part of the general discussion. But it won't be. Such talk will be limited to advocacy sites with nowhere near the reach of major networks, and chances are many of your friends, relatives and neighbors will never know unless you tell them and share reports they'll never get.

Also see: ‘Restrictive’ New Zealand Gun Laws Useless at Stopping Mosque Massacres

About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

  • 13 thoughts on “Identifying Killers Can be Overdone but is Sometimes Needed

    1. Often wondered if the Deep State government bad actors could be “nudging” already mentally marginal subjects into conducting these mass shootings. But, Naw, our government never would do anything like that. Nor would they……use the IRS to confound Conservative efforts; run guns to Mexico to blame American gun dealers and gun laws; obtain false FISA warrants using fake dossiers to spy on a Presidential candidate and then use same to attempt to unseat a duly elected President; suppress and kill investigations and charges against an ex-FLOTUS/SOS for selling American atomic material/tampering with DNC election process/making secret government information available to any hacker/; failing to secure American borders so America can be over run by aliens; skim, scam, squander, and buy votes with American citizen tax dollars; politicians become rich through insider trading; et el et el et el. Naw, not our government servants. And, that, Sen Chris Murphy/Pelosi/Blumenthal/Biden/Feinstein/Gillibrand et el is why we all NEED our ARs……and why they don’t want us to have them.

    2. Years ago, when I was in the Army and Reagan was president the idea was to NOT give terrorism any publicity. Most have never heard of the bombing in Munich in October of 1980, the capture of Gen Dossier and the attack on the commander of N A T O in Sept of 81, yet they all happened. Yes they were all dealt with. Those and many, many more. Terrorists love the news and any other way they can flaunt their evil work. Their brand of evil exists and happens daily and one of the reasons that most people get along with their happy lives is they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT. Stuff that the news gets by actually being on site at the time of attack is problematic but unless the terrorists are still at large there is no need for faces or names.

      Terrorism is NOT a problem for the police. They are trained not to kill. Terrorism must be met with equal or greater violence if you expect to have any chance of success in stopping the threat at hand and dissuading future threats. Those of us who were in that kind of business know this to be true. War is one thing but dealing with terrorists is another. Terrorists don’t have a country per say, they are just a bunch of evil doers who , for the most part, use an evil “religion of peace” as an excuse to warrant their evil deeds. There are other brands of terrorists but for the most part you can bet on the former.

      You might note the shooter was from Australia and his stated goal is gun control in America. You might want to look up another Aussi named Brian Hodges. I have good reason to believe he was in the room with the guy in Vegas and actively fired rounds into the crowd. He, again, flaunted his work by taking selfies the next AM in front of the hotel. His stated goal was, again, gun control in the U.S. You will find he is a member of ANTIFA, he had met with them in Oakland after he met with several isis types in Berlin and then wound up in Vegas in October. Who, in America, espouses the need for gun control, the disarmament of the American public? Who would gain by such an act? What side of the isle does ANTIFA work for? I wont mention any names but their initials are demoncrats. See for yourself if it adds up. Need I say more?

      We are the first responders, we are the first line of defense. We, the armed public, we the militia are the first responders. The facts are, that no matter how well intentioned the police are, their response time usually means they arrive too late to effect stopping the threat. That alone should behoove you to carry your gear 24/7. Personal security is your right. Providing security for your family, friends, neighbors and the strangers you come across is mandated in the BIBLE and provided for by our constitution. You can’t take for granted that someone else is going to be there to save you. The cops have no law that says they must protect the public–look it up for yourselves. If not me, then who? If not now, then when? NEVER go around unarmed even if you have to be civilly disobedient. If a situation does happen, you will at least have a chance to live and save lives. You have choices. Arm up, carry on.

      1. Another excellent comment. Encouraging to see some cogent, sensible and articulate posts here. It raises the credibility of Ammoland, vs. some of the discordant, poorly-written and even more poorly spelled rants that show up here. Thank you for that improvement. And you also are spot on.

    3. It does seem to be the case that as the early school shootings occurred, at least some of the later ones were indeed “copy cat” events. But then I wonder whether the students who followed the earlier patters did so entirely on their own initiative, or were perhaps “encouraged” by some nefarious third party. If our government gave us Fast and Furious, which, to this day has never been examined but is one of the most egregious violations of law, ethics, morality, ever, what else can they have been giving us of late.

      A slightly deeper examination of the details of the school shooting in Florida last year brings some startling and VERY concerning facts…. four felony level crimes that were never dealt with because the local government authorities preferred to win the $Mn54 prize for reducing their “ARREST rates” amongst school age children, never mind the CRIME rates…. the kid, banned from the school grounds, was SEEN and IDENTIFIED as he illegally entered the campus WHILE CARRYING an item also identified as a rifle bag, and the observer did…. NOTHING. Many other such details make me seriously doubt the government/media narrative of an angry boy gone bad with a gun. Oh, and his weapon of choice was indeed an AR type rifle, WITH TEN ROUND MAGAZINES> And of course, within minutes we were all being badgered about the NEED to ban all such rifles AND standard capacity magazines holding more than ten rounds……
      Or how bout the immigrant kid in Ohio got into his beater car, drove over to the community college, parked in a no parking zone, walked into a building pulled a fire alarm, ran back to his junker, drove round to the area where he knew the students were trained to gather outside when the alarm goes off, plowed into the bunch of them trapped there, killing and injuring, then jumped out with a large knife and began slashing.
      Within minutes, politicians nationwide were screaming about banning “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines”… which shrill cries rapidly decreased as the TRUTH came out that there was no firearm of any type involved in this crime….. but some persisted declaring “well, its a goood idea anyway”…. NO IT IS NOT But the lies never stop
      Yeah, how much of this stuff is pure politics or worse….. Hitler had his methods of controlling the information available to the people, and thus was able to manipulate the masses into mindless sheep that accepted whatever Der Daddy said….. and THIS is the goal of all this sort of stuff.

    4. If, after the shooting, this man had escaped, his face would be on every newscast so that people could identify him is they came upon him.

      But once he’s caught and in jail, they refuse to show his face? Where’s the sense in that? You can do a google search and come up with pics of him

    5. It goes beyond imagery of the face and aftermath of these muderer’s. Much of the problem is the sensationalized reporting that the media continues to writhe off from. They may claim American’s want the glorification of such tragedies, but I don’t believe that’s true. Young people and the mentally unstable will find this type of news as a way of seeking attention, and it will give them a forum. It’s Human nature. Just as banning guns is going to allow organized crime to predate on the law abiding, and begin the rise of a police state in the US. We cannot allow it to happen simply because many in our population are too stupid to understand the importance of maintaining a free society and enforcing the US Constitution as Supreme Law via Article VI! Our founders were subjugated by the King, now the royals of the modern world are seeking to do the same in a secret war targeting the US Constitution. China is behind a great deal of this unconstitutional media: they are seeking to disrupt America First in politics, because they fear what President Trump has reversed the damage President Clinton did by allowing consequence free trade. When you go to Asia US goods are very expensive because of tariffs and tax. It’s not just shipping costs that jack up the prices, it’s government policy to prevent the popularity of foreign goods. These tariffs go beyond local tax and are often hidden in emissions policies etc. Trump is the first leader in a long time willing to call them on it and demand a fair mirror tax on tariffs.

    6. I believe the public should know as much about these criminals as possible. They should not be sensationalized but their info should be out there.

    7. I don’t have any proof one way or the other about the copy-cat issue. However, I do not think it serves any purpose at all for the name and the face of perpetrators of mass killings to be revealed in the media. I do think that references to the act should be called “murder” or “murderer” because that is what was done. If investigation indicates that the murder was race or hate motivated then just that should be indicated. Manifestos or other justifications for the murder should not be released because they might feed or incite other murderous acts and help achieve the goal of the murderer.
      As for the “freedom of the press” claim it is my understanding that the protection is for free speech and that the freedom should not be abridged. But it is the freedom of speech that is protected. There is no right to know. Claims by the media that the public has the “right to know” sound hollow to me. How does it benefit the public to know the name or face of the murderer? It might be useful for me to know that a particular environment might be one in which I could become a target of an incidental or deliberate attack. We call that situational awareness. But the name and face of the murder does me no good because he is no longer a threat.

      1. Hiding these names and manifestos does nothing but help protect the government and allows them to lie even more.

      2. You make a good point. I learned during my career that the term “right to know” has been taken hostage by the media, and used as a club against agencies and departments to divulge what frankly are vicarious attempts to get the “scoop”, for their damned ratings. The value to readers or viewers of names, origins, etc. is negligible. Particulars about the crime, what is important to learn about the motivation, etc. are what should matter.

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