Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Would Shunning Stop Monsters?

I'm making a really radical change from my normal format here.  Rather than write about books at this particular time, I had an idea about the monsters we have in society.  I'm not talking about sparkling vampires this time.  I'm talking about the kind of people who take the lives of innocents.  Whether it's in a movie theater or in a school.  No matter the location, these people are monsters and should be dealt with and then FORGOTTEN.

That's what I said... we forget the monsters.  We don't use their name in the newspaper or the blogs or on television.  Give them a number and deal with them.  Take them to court or bury them if they take themselves out.  Does that sound harsh?  Oh my god.  Let's be a little bit harsh.

Think of it as Shunning.  We don't have to be familiar with Amish or Mennonite societies to know what Shunning is and what it does as a psychological device.  Forget them.  Turn your back on their name, strike it from all public records.  Why should we have a historical account of every mass murderer, kidnapper or sniper rather than a record and monument to the victims?

You want to write a book about a serial killer?  Fine.  But that's not what I'm talking about. 

Journalists and reporters could think about this, they are the ones on the front lines of the media hype.  This is therefor a war... an info war... if you will, but why make it seem glamorous?  It's not glamorous, it's tragic.  Focus on the victims, raise up the families, support the efforts to prevent this type of criminal act.

Shunning might work to lessen the attractiveness of being a killer.  If you know your name is going to be deleted, if your history is erased, what do you leave behind?  Why not leave a testament of good works?  Help your neighbor.  Help build a playground and make it safe.  Why plan any of the cruelties that rev up the twisted psyche?  Plan something nice... be remembered for that.

It occurred to me that professional, televised, baseball games avoid showing the streakers and loony fans who run onto the field and disrupt life... and the game.  Of course then everyone with a cell phone records it and passes it around the web making them famous, after all.  But what if we considered the monster we're creating with that type of hype?  What if we cease and desist?  What if we were mature, adult, reasonably intelligent, at least, about these things? 

We often complain that news reporting is all about sensationalism, wow, there's news.  What if we shunned the reports that only hyped the killers?  What if we listened to the helpful things being done?  What about making a case for good news?

I know that nothing will stop bad people from doing bad things except their own consciences.  But if we found a tool to turn the initial impetus of those thoughts from wreaking havoc, wouldn't that be worthy of everyone's consideration and support.  If something like Shunning, or some other psyche tool, was used with responsible reporting of news events and it avoided even one more massacre, isn't that worthwhile?

Maybe you have a better idea.  Maybe you have something to say that could turn people from taking their first giant evil step.  I submit that erasing their names would deter those whose only motivation is their ego.  It certainly can't hurt.

Monsters should be kept in books, where they belong.  We enjoy a good fright, a good crime story and horror stories... but to take them out into public and let them loose... forget it.

I hope the few people who look at this are giving a prayer for those hurt by the shooting and every other tragedy that this country and the world deal with every day.