Letters to editor: Dec. 13

December 13, 2013 

Media spotlight on mass killers attracts copycats

Now is the time for all media to stop "unwittingly" provoking mass violence by encouraging copycat murderers through the publication of names, faces, biographies and motives of rampage shooters.

Killers at Virginia Tech, Columbine, Aurora, Newtown, Los Angeles International Airport and their followers have fantasized themselves as media stars. Do not continue to fulfill their wishes.

After 40 years of professionally representing criminals and mentally troubled individuals, I am convinced that broadcasting the names and circumstances of these killers before their trials and inquests triggers similar, glory-seeking behavior, particularly during the holiday season.

I have read how this contagion effect has been reduced. In 1984, the Austrian Association for Suicide Prevention suggested that sensational publicity was inadvertently glorifying a rash of subway suicides in Vienna.

Local media were persuaded to minimize details and photos, reduce speculation on motives, move the stories from the front page and delete the word suicide from headlines. Subway suicides dropped by 75 percent. Shouldn't we do at least that much?

There was a time when British common law sanctioned media for publishing details about criminal charges until they were disclosed in legal proceedings.

Today, it seems logical that certain sensational details and names (other than of dangerous fugitives) should be withheld until dispassionate and less dangerously contagious discussion is at hand. Media owners should face some measure of civil liability for dreadful, yet foreseeable, consequences. Shame on advocates in the media who argue that the First Amendment should protect them from the rage of innocent victims.

Jon Larson

Fayette County judge-executive

Lexington

Get rid of 'Mitchy'

Mitch McConnell should be on his knees begging all women, saying he is so sorry for being an idiot. Every time a woman challenges his actions, or lack of them, he has to bring slime buckets from his team in to say sexist remarks.

Come on. He is not on the playground anymore. If I were Alison Grimes' husband, I'd be knocking on McConnell's door to show him he can't be talking or doing trash against my wife.

Show "Mitchy" he is no longer welcome to talk trash about women and we don't want him in Kentucky any more. I'm tired of paying for his lifestyle. Vote to get rid of him.

Robert Wells

Lexington

Silly attack on Grimes

I was going to vote to "ditch Mitch" anyway, but after his campaign doctored the picture of Alison Lundergan Grimes, I am more convinced than ever that we need her to represent us.

And the fuss that his people concocted over Grimes attending a luncheon with the first lady of the United States of America is just plain silly.

If Michelle Obama would like to invite me to attend a luncheon with her, I would be more than proud.

Because of the economy, unfortunately, it would have to be Dutch.

John C. Wolff Jr.

Lexington

Mixed message

What a contrast.

On the Nov. 26 front page, above the fold, was an article about planned luxury suites from which to watch University of Kentucky football games.

Below the fold was about the poor, disabled and homeless left to fend for themselves on the streets.

Carole Mobley

Campbellsville

Motives clear

In regard to Rep. Jim Gooch's pre-filed bill that would require a subsidy of the coal industry, only one thought comes to mind: "Doesn't Gooch rhyme with mooch?" 'Cause it sure fits here.

Burce Boyens

Denver

Thanks for the music

I want to express my thanks for the appearance of the Lafayette High School band in Lexington's Christmas parade. The exceptional quality was evident even in the distance, long before they arrived at the viewing stand.

I know how much time and effort it takes to share their superb musical talent with us. This hometown performance was greatly appreciated by all.

Harry Clarke

10th District council member

Lexington

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