Aaron Alexis is gaining more and more YouTube hits, and frankly, it is disheartening. This man’s name will forever be known as the Navy Yard Shooter, while the victims are now being forgotten.
The FBI has released the footage of the 34-year-old man who opened fire at the Navy Yard in D.C. on September 16, that everyone is now watching. The film shows the shooter enter the parking garage in his rental Toyota Prius, go into the building and begin to stalk co-workers. Attempting to avoiding being seen, Alexis is carrying a Remington 870 shotgun and raising it as he passes doors and navigates hallways.
There is no images of Alexis firing the weapon, no footage of victims, and no audio, though it has made breaking news.
On September 16, Alexis shot and murdered 12 people and wounded eight others inside the building within about one hour before being killed in a shootout with police.
“There are indicators that Alexis was prepared to die during the attack and that he accepted death as the inevitable consequence of his actions,” Parlave said.
When found, he was carrying a shotgun, shown in the above video, an AR-15 assault rifle, and a Beretta handgun believed to be taken from one of the victims. On the recovered shotgun the phrases “End to the torment!,” “Not what yall say!,” “Better off this way!” and “My ELF weapon!” were etched, according to the bureau.
No matter the reason, the FBI releasing the video and still photographs has outraged many people. The families are still grieving their lost loved ones, and those wounded are still recovering. Yet, Aaron Alexis’ face, in photos and video, is being broadcasted all across the web for the world to see.
The question is: Why is the shooter getting more attention, than the innocent victims and their grieving families?
Barack Obama during the aftermath spoke of the victims.
“If we really want to honor these 12 men and women, if we really want to be a country where we can go to work and go to school and walk our streets free from senseless violence without so many lives being stolen by a bullet from a gun, then we’re going to have to change,” the President said.
Only when President Barack Obama memorialized the victims of the Washington Navy Yard were they recognized nationally – one with a talent for fixing cars, another who coached softball and yet another who loved hockey and her cats.
Here we are nine days later, the country has forgotten of the innocent individuals, their families; instead broadcasting the shooter and his methods. Yet people wonder why shootings are becoming more and more common. You’re more likely to make a name of yourself for something as terrible as this, than to do something truly extraordinary.
These events do have news value, yes, but the coverage should tell all the details, not recognize the work of the shooters. The shooters lack motive, besides mental health issues arguably. They all have shock value, and bringing attention to the shooter and not the victim, or the details, is not the way to best inform the public. Gaining outrageous coverage in a way contributes to the rampages, and more potential unrecognized victims.