When it comes to killers, Don’t Name Them

Don’t name them.

It’s really that easy. Each time there is an active shooter event, our media makes the cowards famous. The Don’t Name Them campaign is a coordinated effort by the ALERRT Center at Texas State University, the I Love U Guys Foundation, and the FBI. The focus of the campaign is to shift the media focus from the suspects who commit these acts to the victims, survivors, and heroes who stop them.

Take this quick test:

Do you remember the Columbine High School Shooting in 1999? The Sandy Hook Shooting in 2012? The Aurora theater shooting in 2012? The Charleston church shooting in 2015?

Can you name any of the shooters? Can you name even one victim or person that stopped the killing? Who deserves to take up a part of your brain?

Why We Don’t Name Them

The Don’t Name Them Campaign lists several reasons. Here are a few:

  • Some suspects are motivated by a desire for fame, notoriety, and/or recognition. media attention provides this fame, notoriety, and recognition.  This lets the killer accomplish one of their goals and validates their life and actions.
  • Media coverage can create a contagion effect producing more shootings. Read more about that effect here.
  • These killers should be as unrecognized in their deaths as they were in their lives.
  • We should focus on the victims and the heroes

We Can Still Learn

If you take classes from Better Protectors, you may notice we don’t use the names of the killers. We will say things like “the killer”, “the murderer”, or “the coward”, but if you hear their name, it’s purely by accident.

Don’t get me wrong. There are lessons we can learn. We should study some of their lives, tactics and other things – but let’s not glorify the attacker by giving them valuable airtime. Don’t waste your brain cells remembering them.

Don’t share their manifestos, their letters, or their Facebook posts. Share the stories of the victims, the heroes, and the communities who come together to help the families heal.

Share stories like Lori Gilbert- KayeRev. Daniel Simmons or Ramesh Ranju but don’t name the killer.

Please visit the Don’t Name Them website for more information and how you can help.

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