All Voices Matter: victims deserve more attention

In+her+weekly+column%2C+All+Voices+Matter%2C+staff+reporter+Aviance+Pritchett+gives+her+take+on+social+and+cultural+issues.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

All Voices Matter: victims deserve more attention

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Prachurjya Shreya

Prachurjya Shreya

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Aviance Pritchett, Staff Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Over spring break, on March 15, tragedy struck New Zealand when 50 people were killed in a mass shooting at two mosques. On March 21, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, announced that the country would ban assault rifles as a result of the attack.

It only took six days.

It’s different In America, where such laws concerning gun control do not get passed, or, in the cases where they do get passed, do little to actually help control gun violence and prevent attacks such as this one.

A few days before this decision, Ardern also stated that as long as she spoke, she would never say the shooter’s name. There are some people who believe this decision to be disrespectful. By not saying the shooter’s name, we will not know who caused this tragedy, we will not be able to publicly shame and condemn this person, we will not help the victims receive closure by forgetting his name or refusing to speak it.

But one study shows that mass killings inspire copycats, and another study from the FBI shows that mass killings have been on the rise since 2014. Perhaps by giving attention to the shooters rather than the actual victim, we’re doing more harm than good.

Why should we raise so much awareness for someone who murdered innocents instead of those who lost their lives? Why do we spend days analyzing the motives of the perpetrator and their childhood instead of celebrating the achievements and contributions of the victims?

It’s the victims we should remember, not the person that hurt them.

Shooters want the attention and the fame, and some of them, like the New Zealand shooter, seek to cause discord and division within the country for their own twisted agenda. We should not give attention to their manifestos and their motives, especially not with the possibility of such things being able to inspire others to carry out more heinous crimes.

Not only should we not share the name of the shooter, but we also shouldn’t share any footage or images of the crime–it’s what the shooter wants. They want us to see the lives lost. They want us to be disgusted and horrified. They want us to argue over who’s to blame, be it a political party or video games.

I’ve unfortunately seen multiple of these kinds of videos without prior warning, and the people who repost these things say in defense: “We have to share it so people can see how horrible this tragedy was!”

No, we don’t.

We know that people died–why do we have to know their last words and cries? Why do we have to see their dead bodies? It’s disrespectful, and it’s obvious that people are only spreading this to cause shock value. You’re not doing anyone–except the shooter–any favors by showing something so violent and graphic.

I know that people of my generation feel kind of useless. Hopeless even. It’s a shock to other countries that rarely experience mass killings, but not to us Americans, when such events happen all too often.

As sad as it is to admit, we cannot completely stop mass killings and gun violence, but we can prevent them. From calling on to our government leaders to make a change to our gun laws and protesting, to making sure that the shooter fades into irrelevance while the memory of the victims live on forever, we can do more.  

We can take inspiration from the people just like us in New Zealand, who refuse to let such  violence define them as people and a country as a whole. We can cause an impact just as they have, and maybe we can make our cause global. We can give the shooter everything he didn’t want by coming together to make a real difference, not because of what he wants, but rather what the victims would have wanted.