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There's a Reason Not to Publish Mass Shooters' Names, This Isn't It

AP Photo/John Amis

When mass shootings occur in America it's crucial to wait for the facts, yet as we've seen time and time again, those on the left often rush to put forth a narrative, usually something to do with the suspect being a "white supremacist," or along those lines. We've got the receipts of far too many instances where they've been proven wrong. Once the suspect's identity has been confirmed though, such are the facts. Except that's not why outlets didn't include the suspect's name in  Monday's school shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, as Leah and Matt have highlighted, with The New York Times being a particularly egregious example. 


The suspect, Audrey Hale, was reportedly transgender. She had started going by the name Aiden and using he/him pronouns. 

Our sister site at Twitchy highlighted another example. Orion Rummler at 19thnews, who is a "trans man" according to a Twitter bio, went through great lengths in a Tuesday tweet to discuss the suspect's "identity," and complain about "Several conservative and far-right media figures."

There were six victims, including three children, Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and William Kinney, who were 9-years-old. Substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, custodian Mike Hill, both 61, and school headmistress Katherine Koonce, 60, were also killed. Hale was killed by the responding officers, Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo.

The suspect's name is at times left out of reports or used as sparingly as possible so as to not give them the notoriety and fame. A report from the Daily Mail on the victims includes social media posts from Hill's daughter, Brittany Hill. "'I will not say her name because I will not glorify her actions. I wish the media would not say her name ever again," she wrote in part. The report used Hale's name dozens of times. 


And yet that's not why the 19thnews article that Rummler was sharing left out the suspect's name, especially since the last name was published. They didn't want to anger their progressive readers, especially when the article makes it quiet clear their is an agenda to push. Despite a note at the top of the article saying it was updated, there is no first name published:

Law enforcement officials in Nashville released the identity of the shooter, whose last name was Hale. Chief John Drake of the Nashville Police said the authorities currently believe that the shooter is transgender.  However, local authorities and news media reports have varied on how they refer to Hale’s gender identity, as well as what pronouns they have used. The 19th is waiting on further information related to Hale’s identity before publishing a first name.

The article, which is titled "Nashville shooting suspect’s gender sets attack apart from most mass shootings," not only goes on to emphasize how "cisgender men" are usually the ones carrying out shootings, but lambasts at length the policies of a state that has just experienced a tragedy. This is especially with regards to discussion on Tennessee's laws on guns and "anti-trans legislation." 

There's a heavy dose of politics in this regard:

Amid the confusion, several conservative and far-right media personalities have used the reported identity of the shooter as an opportunity to shift the conversation away from gun control and onto restricting gender-affirming care for transgender people, or simply to focus on anti-trans rhetoric. Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene shared a tweet in a similar vein — saying that “everyone can stop blaming guns now” and speculating on whether the shooter was taking hormone replacement therapy.


Safety is also often at play, though again that doesn't seem to be the reason 19thnews didn't and still hasn't mentioned Hale's first name. 

Wednesday night's opening monologue of "Gutfeld!" discussed the insight from Mary Ellen O'Toole, a former FBI profiler, about copycat school shootings. "The media incentivizes mass shootings by rewarding the present ones," host Greg Gutfeld offered. The opening segment also went on to feature a passionate discussion from the guests on why the suspect's name should not be mention, especially from Tyrus, who offered that networks report on shootings as they do for the ratings. 

"Once the killer is shot and dead, their story is over. It's done. That's it," he said. "Then we talk about the victims then praise the police, or criticize the reaction, or talk about how we create soft targets hard again. But that's it." Telling Gutfeld that "you put too much faith into people sometimes," he offered media "are not stupid, they know exactly what they're doing. They know if they have at least six different shows, with six different angles on this killer, people are going to watch, and then the other networks are going to go 'well guess what, we're going to have seven,' and then there'll be eight, and they'll keep going back and forth." 

While Tyrus went on to also criticize "punk ass politicians," who "don't give a damn either," he came back to media coverage. "So there's only one way to do it, you, me, we gotta turn the f**king TV off," he said to applause from the studio audience. 


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