Regarding your recent editorial “Our View: Conservative support needed to stop killings” (Oct. 5):

I wholeheartedly agree with the editor on all points. However, I had to pause at this sentence: “If freedom of the press was killing hundreds of Americans each year, we would stand up for laws that would stop its abuse.”

While I don’t believe that this freedom alone is capable of causing death, I do feel that the press is a partner in crime and helps to fuel the imaginations of actual potential killers by giving them front-page attention and the “fame” they crave.

Do we have to legislate this? Is it possible for the press to agree to collectively refrain from publishing a photo of the offender and blabbing about his horrific life or touting his agenda?

The constantly published “beauty” headshot of the surviving Boston Marathon bomber throughout his trial is a perfect example of glorifying such behavior. We all know what he looks like, and even if we’re “media deprived,” do we really need to know? Unless he is still at large and a threat to the public, he no longer needs to be identified by a photo.

The amount of print dedicated to the “troubled” criminal often makes the press look like a sympathizer, effectively minimizing the suffering of the victims and their families.

We’ve all heard that negative attention is better than none at all, and for some depraved and lonely individuals, there is a blueprint laid out in these sensationalized news stories that they will use to get their 15 minutes of fame.

The most recent offender was reported to have studied past shootings. The Press Herald has actually published timelines of mass killings over the years, which may be destined to become a syllabus for future “students”!

Report the news. I am not suggesting censorship – simply a bit of creative restraint.

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