When tragedy strikes, we all hear about it; see the stories on the news, read them in the newspaper. We all know what has happened and who was behind the attack…but what about the victims? What about Matthew Gwaltney, or Jonathan Blunk, or Olivia Engel? All people who were shot and killed in an attack.
April 16th 2007; the day of the deadliest massacre by a single person in US history. Seung-Hui Cho killed thirty two people and wounded seventeen others at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg Virginia.
July 20th 2012; James Holmes enters a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and opens fire on everyone in the room. Armed with tactical clothing, tear gas grenades, and multiple guns, he killed twelve people and injured fifty eight others.
December 14th 2012; Adam Lanza enters Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, to shoot and kill twenty school children, ages 6 and 7, and six adults. Even miles away, this tragedy is felt in almost every home across the country.
Sure, we want to know who the people are behind these attacks. It gives us a little of the security back that they have taken away from us. We like to know what kind of people could do such a cruel thing as taking a life and the reasons behind doing so. We are curious as to why these people are the way they are, why they would want to do something so horrible.
But why are we so interested in their life history? These people end lives and ruin others. Yes, understanding a person and what they went through may give some answers as to why they may have gone on a killing spree. But do these people who murder others really deserve to be in the spotlight, even if it is in a courtroom or in prison?
April 15th 2013; the latest attack within our country. Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother Dzhokhar, built their own bombs and detonated them near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed and many more were injured. Days later, a police officer was killed in the hunt for the suspects.
The names of the people behind these attacks are fairly well known, but the names of the victims are not as well publicized. People who carry out attacks instill a fear throughout the country. We don’t know when the next attack will be, who the target will be, and who will carry out the attack.
Instead of focusing on the attackers, we should focus on the victims, their family, the ones who lend a helping hand to those suffering, and the ones who keep us safe, not the ones who kill. These people have been caught; stop showing their pictures and stop talking about them. They do not deserve to be known. The people they killed will never have an opportunity to be famous, they should not be.