The events in Norway are horrific, heartbreaking and incomprehensible. How a person can hold that much hate, contempt, disregard… I don’t even know what to call it… is unimaginable. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families as we try to understand how one person can feel justified in claiming the lives of so many.
Of course, it calls to mind the attacks of 9/11, 3/11 and others here in the States and around the world. It also reminds me of the Virginia Tech Massacre and how that assailant vied for attention – and got it – long after he’d been killed.
I can’t help wonder why news outlets feel the need to air the ramblings and rantings of attackers like these. The same happened/happens with Islamic terrorist videos. A new one comes out and it’s translated into every language, aired on TV and radio, uploaded to the internet and printed in newspapers, giving voice to these criminals. And now, the Norway attacker – whose name along with the other’s will not be mentioned here – wants to use his time in court as a platform to explain his actions.
Part of me wants to know why he did this while part of me doesn’t want to grant him the opportunity to tell us.
Of course, the public has the right to know what goes on inside the minds of people like this. We need to understand what causes a person to act this way so we can recognize the pattern should it appear in our lives. We also need to know what, if anything, we can do to prevent things from going this far.
But… I also feel the voices of these people should be silenced. That we should not give them the attention they so deeply crave. To deny them of that attention is, perhaps, the worst punishment of all. And that, I should add, is what the Norwegian courts are doing as of now by having a closed-door hearing for this man.
As you can see, I’m torn. So I wonder… how do you feel about this? Should murders – regardless of the size of their attacks – be permitted to share their story, their rationale, with the world or should they be given only a small ‘audience’ of judge and jury?