Not releasing shooters’ identity is wrong


The shooting that occurred at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon, was a complete tragedy. The shooting follows a string of multiple shootings that have occurred in the U.S. during the past few years. From the Sandy Hook shooting to the shooting at FSU, the U.S. has seen a startling uptake in mass shootings.

Some people argue that the cause of these mass shootings is lax gun control laws, while others believe the cause stems from the people who carry out these acts. Based on what I have seen, it appears as though most news organizations have taken the stance that while lax gun control laws play a role, the person is the main cause of these shootings.

Most news networks, including CNN, have taken the stance of not releasing the shooter’s name of the Oregon College shooting. According to CNN, the shooter “killed to be famous,” and they would not give him that during their broadcasts. The Douglas County sheriff has also taken the stance to not release the gunman’s name, not wanting to make him infamous.

With most of the past shootings, most news organizations have taken the route of not releasing the shooter’s name hoping it would discourage people from committing these acts in the hopes of gaining infamy from coverage of the tragedy. As we can see based on what happened in Oregon, this tactic does not seem be working.

I do not agree with the decision to not publicly release the shooter’s name. I think that people should be able to know who did this crime so we can try to figure out why this happened.

As more details of the shooting come out, we are learning that there were signs that this man suffered from some ideological and personal issues. I don’t think hiding the shooter’s identity will discourage these actions from taking place. I believe that, as a country, we have to come together and focus on what is causing people to commit these heinous actions. While more gun control laws are needed, I think we need to first focus on the people committing the murders and not the weapons used.