GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- When tragedy strikes for another time like it did in Florida, we become familiar with the shooter. Their name and background is repeated and reported.
In Parkland, background becomes relevant when its clear signs were missed and tragedy might have been averted. Too often though, we in “The Media” use the term transparency when repeatedly using the shooter's name, photo and details that may provide no relevant context to the story at large.
In this country, fame and name recognition can come from detestable acts.
Case in point: In 2005, a student shot and killed nine people at Red Lake High School in Minnesota. He did so, in part, because investigators found evidence after the fact that he emulated the school shooters of Columbine. There are other mass shootings with the same story.
Transparency can still come with context. Relevance is a matter of news judgment. There is no rule where shooters need or need not be named and paraded on TV. Perhaps more times than not, it isn’t necessary.
If this is really the tipping point where mass shootings in this country will finally be addressed, then maybe we all have a part. Because not one more student should be gunned down in their school.