THE BLOG
12/18/2012 03:46 pm ET Updated Feb 17, 2013

Connecticut Tragedy: Focusing on the Wrong Things

On Friday, December 14, in the small town of Newtown, Connecticut, the unthinkable happened. By now, I'd assume almost everyone has heard about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that has left the entire nation shaken and asking ourselves simple questions like how and why. A man decided that before he ended his own life, he would cause as much pain as possible. For the purpose of what I have to say, I will only refer to the despicable human being who carried out these acts as "a man" because I feel as if the media coverage in this case, and other shooting incidences like it, isn't focusing on the right people.

Every time something like this happens, we all look around and ask each other how could another human being become so unstable and motivated to kill so many innocent people? The answer, of course, is very complex and differs from case to case. But there is one fact that holds true in all of these cases -- the person, or people, that carried out these acts will have their name plastered in the headlines and talked about on the news for days, weeks, and even months after the event. While I know this column won't even create a ripple in the media storm surrounding this most recent shooting, I refuse to give this man any more attention by putting his name out on more media networks.

Instead, I want to focus on the people that we should think about and talk about in this incident. I want to focus on the six teachers and 20 children who died in this tragedy.

I want to focus on Dawn Hochsprung, the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary school who lost her life. I want to focus on Mary Sherlach, a school psychologist whose life was ended by this event. I want to focus on Victoria Soto, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau and Rachel Davino, all teachers at the school who had their lives ended from this tragedy. I want to focus on Nancy Lanza, whose son is the alleged gunman. Her son killed her at her home before he drove to the elementary school and began shooting.

And of course, I want to focus on the children, all of whom were either 6 or 7 years old, who had their lives ended so early: Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Ana Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockley, Madeleine F. Hsu, Catherine V. Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Benjamin Wheeler and Allison N. Wyatt.

These are the victims, and these are the people we should be giving every ounce of attention to. The only thing focusing on the man who did these despicable acts will do is show the next person who is thinking of doing something like this that their name will be in headlines and TV broadcasts across the country.

In such a time of heartbreak and grief, the media should be honoring those who had their lives taken from them. The media shouldn't be going into homes and churches where vigils are being held to get the all-important interview. These are lives and these are times where the families' grief is unimaginable.

Reporters are taught to break the story and get the interview that will captivate an audience. However, there are exceptions where there is something more important than ratings and more important than making a good story. For once, why not back away and let these families mourn without cameras in their face?

We as a nation will overcome these struggles. We as a nation will band together and support those families who lost loved ones in this event. And we as a nation should be focusing solely on those who were the victims of this sickening act.

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