Since the horrible tragedy that occurred in Aurora Colorado, one question has been repeatedly asked: “Why?”
This question reminded me of one of my favorite scenes in cinema, found in The Matrix Reloaded, where The Merovingian points out that, “‘Why’ is the only real source of power. Without it you are powerless.”
So … “why” would James Holmes, an apparently brilliant PhD candidate in neuroscience, allegedly do what he allegedly did? Because Holmes wanted those particular people dead? Almost certainly not. Rebelling against societal norms? No. Because he’s psychotic? Crazy? Doubtful.
Holmes wanted to be noticed. Holmes wanted the world to know his name. To be remembered forever. That’s the “why”. Look at how people describe James Holmes. He was a loner. People barely even knew he existed. But now they know. Boy, do they ever. And … that was the problem. The cause. The “why.”
Now that we know the “why”; we have the power. The power to virtually extinguish this from ever happening again. How? By not giving the Holmeses of the world what they crave more than anything — Attention. Notoriety. Recognition. Fame (albeit infamy).
Good news? Framework already exists that could accomplish this very task. To cut off the fuel that feeds the fire for these individuals.
Enact legislation that requires perpetrators in these types of cases be treated with the same confidentiality as a juvenile case. This would mean their name can’t be released; only their initials. No likenesses or pictures allowed to be shown by the media. Any court proceedings/trials would be confidential.
Their name wouldn’t be on every newspaper/website. Not trending on Twitter. No opportunity to make a courtroom spectacle. No publicity. Just complete, and utter anonymity; which they literally fear worse than death or a lifetime of incarceration.
Time is of the essence. An entire generation of young people are taking note (even perhaps subconsciously) of the attention and notoriety focused towards James Holmes; as I’m sure he noted during the aftermath of Columbine. Some of these young people are being pushed to the side. Looked over. Ignored. Would do anything to be noticed. Just like Holmes.
Time to act is now. Ensure these perpatrators’ anonymity. Otherwise, “why” should be a question we ask our legislators.
Eric E. Ashley is an attorney with offices in both Hazard and London Kentucky. (606) 487-0500. He has been a trial Attorney with more than 20 trials to jury in past six years. Trials include major criminal trials in over five counties; and five criminal trials in federal court. Eric has been a successful civil trial attorney, winning two trials to jury in the past three years, multiple bench trials concerning property/mineral issues, and pursuing several other high-profile civil matters successfully on behalf of his clients. Appellate record of 10 wins and three losses, including two wins at the Kentucky Supreme Court and one win at the U.S. Supreme Court.