Tom Mattausch
Tom Mattausch campaign leader

Your fellow petition-signer Brian Robertson was inspired to write The Seattle Times this letter to the editor. Here it is, for your consideration and imitation: send your own letter to the media you are most familiar with.

"Aaron Ybarra who? Monkey see, monkey do..."
Following the outbreaks of mass-violence at SPU and Reynolds HS in Troutdale, OR, I and roughly 600 others are growing terribly weary of a) learning the names, b) seeing the photos and c) reading the (monotonous, predictable) “human interest” stories behind those responsible for killing off masses of people. Each story follows quickly on the heels of the last, much like feedback echoes that grow ever more distorted (and deafening) with each loop through a sound-system.
Undoubtedly the Seattle Times, along with every other major US news outlet, has good reason to want to inform its readers about the individuals behind such attacks. At the same time, its writers are implicitly providing precisely the sort of media-attention that these sick people crave. Already 40 years have passed since sociologists established a firm and direct link between violent, suicidal action and focused media attention (American Sociology Review, 1974).
What we need is a paper, such as the Seattle Times, to formally adopt an editorial policy that stops giving mass-murderers one of the things they yearn for most desperately: their proverbial “blaze of (media-fueled) glory.” Let’s give them what they deserve instead: an anonymous plot in the pauper's field.
Seattle Times readers: help play your part by signing the online petition, ‘Help Stop Mass Shootings,’ on www.causes.com.
Brian Robertson – Ballard

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