Slog tipper Matthew G. Miller sends this piece by Gina Tron in Politico Magazine recalling her troubled high school years:
Does media coverage lead to more school shootings? There's no definitive data on this question, at least not yet, but experts suspect that it does.
When I compounded my reputation as a dangerous psychopath by scaring a girl who’d been mean to me with a nasty note that invoked the Columbine killings, and the police found out about my short story, the news was on the front page of our hometown paper and covered by the local TV station. I was banned from my prom (which I was rumored to want to blow up) and frightened parents claimed they would shoot me on sight if I tried to go. Extra police were sent to the dance and to my school.
My notoriety was made. And although I had no desire to go on a killing spree at all, I began to sort of enjoy it. I started to identify with mass murderers, probably because I thought I was the same as them: a loser destined to be secluded from society. But more importantly, I felt that being suspected as a villain gave me power. I was no longer a quiet nobody. I was infamous. People paid attention to what I did. I now had a stage. Teachers and adults feared me, and some kids my age, though they claimed to dislike me, were curious about me. There was something about my situation being plastered on television that made it feel like I was more than just a human. I may have been a loser, but I did something. The notoriety was as addictive as it was isolating. And there was something so uniquely American about the whole thing.
"It’s not unreasonable to ask for a little restraint from the media," says Tron, who is pictured, when she was younger, posing with one of those local newspaper covers. She believes, like CNN's Anderson Cooper, that journalists shouldn't name the shooters. "If you maintain his anonymity, you rob him of the narcissistic gratification he’s looking for."