I’ve been trying to avoid talking about the massacre in Aurora for a number of reasons, the prime one being: it’s all over the news, so what’s left to say?
But I found myself cringing at some of the coverage. Here in the Bay Area, one of the local stations is conducting breathless interviews with people who knew the killer as a child. And when I saw the governor of Colorado calling the killer “demonic” and “diabolical,” all I could think was, “Stop! That S.O.B. wants to be larger than life! Don’t give him the satisfaction!” The killer’s worthless – not worth talking about. I refuse to remember his name.
I understand it’s natural to want to deconstruct the crime, make sense of it, and hopefully try to prevent similar atrocities in future. But let’s talk about the victims, let’s talk about the heroes, and stop talking about the shooter, helping to create copycats?
What I would like to hear is a conversation on how we deal with the mentally ill wandering the streets. Whenever I go to San Francisco I see homeless people who clearly have mental problems, and are a danger to themselves and others. Yet they roam free. Obviously, I believe in civil liberties, but the current “let them run free” situation seems cruel to the mentally ill and to their occasional victims.
CORRECTION: I should note that to date, there is no evidence the perpetrator of the massacre in Aurora has a mental illness – just lots of hints dropped by the media, and perhaps I’m over-analyzing the subtext.