U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “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.
About 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.