Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Massacre at Aurora, Colo., movie theater
‘Opened fire’ inappropriate
In the aftermath of another American mass murder/casualty incident, I honestly wish that news organizations, including The Seattle Times, would stop using the phrase “opened fire,” [“Midnight massacre: ex-honors student held in theater attack,” page one, July 21]. The phrase is inflammatory and tends to glorify — yes, glorify — evildoing.
The words “opened fire” could at times carry a positive connotation. For example, if an American soldier opened fire on a cadre of armed Taliban soldiers who were determined to kill American military personnel in Afghanistan. For that reason, in the context of a shooting of unarmed, innocent civilians the phrase is not appropriate.
Elevating the pitch of a horrific crime story may sell more papers, but it is simply not necessary. The more sober, “A man started shooting at people in a movie theater and continued until 12 were dead and 58 wounded,” would be a more honest and realistic account of what happened.
— Matthew Sproul, Portland, Ore.
Fast-track trial system
At this time of national reflection over our inability to protect ourselves from random acts of horrific violence, one factor stands out as an imperative: Justice delayed is justice denied.
Any reader can conclude the benefits of swift punishment for the killer, including quickly taking him out of the public view and providing a more effective deterrent to those similarly inclined. We need a “fast track” system for the trial of these atrocities based on probable cause to believe the accused is conclusively guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, determined within seven days of the massacre.
If “fast track” qualified, the trial must be within 60 days and final direct appeal to the state Supreme Court within 30 days thereafter. Next, we try to get the U.S. Congress to revise its antiquated system to give the rest of us a fair trial and justice.
— Elliott Alhadeff, Sammamish
We need to wake up
I have given up on reading about and watching coverage of the massacre in Aurora, Colo. The media continue to focus on the pathos of the tragedy, and largely ignore the causes and possible prevention strategies.
When will we all wake up to the fact that any deranged individual can kill scores of people in a matter of seconds using legally obtained, rapid-fire assault weapons? These weapons need to be outlawed. Until they are, we can only expect more horror like Columbine and Aurora.
— Gary W. Elmer, Quilcene