Everybody of a certain age knows the crimes of Lee Harvey Oswald, Clayton Ruby, James Earl Ray and Sirhan Sirhan. They are notorious in a bad way.
After the terrorist attack on a mosque, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, said she would render the person nameless who murdered Muslim worshippers.
Less than 10% of the following media reports in the country mentioned the name of the killer. His terrorist manifesto was ignored and his social media posts and videos were eliminated.
Many of us would welcome a federal law directing the RCMP not to identify perpetrators of terrorism and similar crimes. Hopefully, provincial and municipal police forces would follow on.
Why do we continue to give these evil-doers the notoriety they do not deserve?
Our culture seems to celebrate evil. The famous newspaper reporter’s credo of “If it bleeds, it leads” needs to be tossed aside in those cases as well. Naming these low lives is not serving the public interest, in fact it could be encouraging copy-cats. All types of media including traditional print and broadcast along with social media need to buy into ignoring these criminals.
Maybe, just maybe, it will lessen what seems to be an increasing number of horrible incidents.
Here in Canada, we sort off do the opposite. It seems when a bad person has committed an obvious crime (quite often arrested at the scene), the authorities hold-off identifying them until charges have been laid. The public is left speculating for several days wondering if it is someone they know. At least that is what I do if the incident is local.
What prompts my thinking, is the identity of the misinformed anti-vaxxer woman and her many associates who interrupted the Remembrance Day event in Kelowna.
Would you not like them outed for such poor judgement? Why does it take the RCMP and Crown Prosecutors so long to either press charges or let them off? I am glad these anti-vaxxers are no longer getting air-time as they are just getting tiresome.
On a historical note, smallpox vaccines were mandated in some places in the 17th century.
Just when we thought American society could not sink any lower. A teenager takes an illegally-obtained assault rifle across two state lines, provokes an incident resulting in the murder of two and injury of another. Then he is successful in claiming self-defence to avoid jail time. A crowd outside the courthouse cheers. Three Republican politicians offer the teenager an internship in Washington’s Congress as a reward.
No sooner had I penned this column, I learn the ex-president of the U.S. invited the “nice young man” for a meet and greet.
John Dorn is a retired tech entrepreneur who resides in Summerland.