Tuesday, July 24, 2012

We Should Be Mindful of Who is Remembered

On July 20 the lives of 12 innocent people were ended by the violent actions of a shooter during a showing of The Dark Knight Rises in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater.

There has been a flurry of media coverage of this horrible event all over the airwaves, radio wave, and internet wave. As with most acts of mass murder the killer is often immortalized by their actions. Having their name forever permeated into the archives of history. From crime dramas writing episodes based on their crimes to books and movies offering the "real story" to becoming a part of language and everyday conversation.

And this is a problem I think.

Don't get me wrong. I don't mean that their actions should be forgotten or forgiven or anything like that. What I mean is that a person should not become a part of history in such a violent while their victims are forgotten mere weeks after they are killed. Faded into obscurity only to be temporarily resurrected on the following anniversaries of their deaths.

I want you to try something real quick.

I'd wager that you know the name of the killer. Have his name committed to memory and have seen his face all over the press and across the world. It will probably stick there for at least the next several years, if not the rest of your life (hell Manson is etched into my memory and I wasn't even born until 8 years after he went to prison).

Now name a victim.

I have to admit that I honestly cannot name a single one of the 12 people that were killed that night. If it weren't for the ability to go look it up at will they would probably be out of the minds of most people by now, living on in the minds and hearts of those close to them.

See the problem?

Regardless of what happens to the killer chances are he is already in the minds of most people in this country and will remain there for a very long time while the 12 people he killed will not. Don't believe me? Try something else.

Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Jefferey Dahmer, David Berkowitz, Timothy McVeigh, and the list goes one.

People that have lived on for years even decades after they committed their crimes and sometimes even after they themselves are long dead. But can you name one of their victims?

All I'm saying is that while such people should be punished and dealt with we shouldn't let the memory of the killer outlive the memory of the victim(s).

Let's try remembering the people that should be remembered.

Jonathan Blunk, aged 26

Alexander J. Boik, 18

Jesse Childress, 29

Gordon Cowden, 51

Jessica Ghawi, 24

John Larimer, 27

Matt McQuinn, 27

Micayla Medek, 23

Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6

Alex Sullivan, 27

Alexander C. Teves, 24

Rebecca Wingo, 32

(I just thought of something that I really should have said days ago. Let's turn all that subconscious effort that goes into immortalizing the killer in effort to immortalize the victims. So how about this fellow bloggers? If you post about this don't name the killer, name the victims. If you write an article about the impact of these killings don't write about what the killer did, but instead write about what was done to the victims.)