Never Again Speak Their Name

When these obscene tragedies happen, one feels so devastated, and yet so powerless. But we are not. Here’s what I want to do.

To every mass shooter and terrorist, whether you used explosives or guns, whether you did it for ISIS or al-Qaeda, whether you wanted work-place revenge or dreamed of some twisted notoriety, here is what I want for you;

I want no one to ever again speak your name. Whether you killed the elementary school children or the high school students, whether it was the marathoners or the moviegoers or the night clubbers, I want no one to ever again speak your name.

I want no one to read anything you have written. Did you leave a manifesto? It will be burned without being read. Your diary, your facebook rants, your notes to your high school sweetheart; all destroyed. Every electronic copy of any words you have written or spoken will be erased and permanently deleted.

I want no one to ever see you again. All photos of you at every age will be bleached and shredded. All selfies deleted, every digital impression forever erased from the cloud, from hard drives, from servers; that photo of you on your mother’s nightstand? It will be landfill.

I want any cause you attempted to support to go unmentioned. I want any political or religious message you attempted to send to never be received. Not only will you not achieve any notoriety, no one will ever speak of you again.

I want you to be forgiven, but that is all you will receive. Then I want you buried in an unmarked grave. Not even in a graveyard, just some anonymous dirt heap; unknown, unknowable, forgotten.

You will be thoroughly excised from the family of humanity; you do not deserve to be seen, to be heard, to be read, to be known, you do not even deserve to be remembered. I want no one to ever again speak your name.

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