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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Why it’s irresponsible not to print the names of mass shooting suspects

El Paso shooting
A family places flowers at a memorial outside the Walmart in El Paso where 22 people were killed on Aug. 3.
(Mark Ralston/ AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: I’ve seen several calls not to print names of mass shooters. Here are some of the reasons the media report their identities.

Omitting names or other information allows a lack of transparency that opens the door for legal system corruption; the shooters are largely white men, so it would arbitrarily protect criminals of one class and race; and the news is the public source of record -- the names will get out, from less credible sources, with possibly inaccurate information.

There are so many bigger issues related to mass shootings than keeping the press from doing its job. For instance, more effort should go into understanding red flags related to violence and personality -- not the easy fallback “mental illness,” but actual behavioral indicators.

The media are not even close to being the issue.

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Maureen Milliken, Belgrade Lakes, Maine


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