I was listening to the NPR show, The Takeaway, and they had a conversation with former Attorney General, Eric Holder. It was a somewhat wide-ranging conversation and it included discussion of Sandy Hook.
Holder: And I met with the first responders and the crime scene search officers
and they took me around, I looked at the pictures. If the American
people had access to those pictures, if the American people had seen
those pictures, the calls for reasonable gun safety measures would have
Host John Hockenberry then had two guests to talk about the impact the photos of that crime scene could have, both for the positive and the negative.
I am old enough to remember watching - night after night on tv news - film and photos of the Vietnam War. Body bags coming off planes and dead soldiers in the jungle. But fast forward to today - at least on tv - and you are much less likely to see our soldiers from that viewpoint.
Now is that to protect the truly innocent, i.e. the soldiers and their families, or the government so that the true outcomes of war are not fully seen?
But these are children that we are talking about and terrible crime scene photos of what Holder called "a massacre."
And yet, here we are, years later, many more mass killings later, and very little has changed.
I clearly recall the day I heard about Sandy Hook. I was with political blogger, David Goldstein, and when I met him for coffee, I knew there had been a school shooting. When he told me the circumstance and the number, I almost dropped to my knees. And, in the days, after, I thought, "Well, this will be the time that things WILL change. I mean, who could see this and not think, 'what's wrong with us as a society?'" I based that belief on Dunblane.
Because I had also been living in Italy in 1996 when there was the Dunblane, Scotland school massacre where 16 children and a teacher were murdered by one idiot.
Public debate about the killings centered on gun control laws, including public petitions calling for a ban on private ownership of handguns and an official enquiry, the Cullen Report.
In response to this debate, two new firearms Acts were passed, which
effectively made private ownership of handguns illegal in Great Britain.
Except for terrorism, Great Britain hasn't had a mass killing since then.
Now I didn't expect to make private ownership of handguns illegal because we have a different constitution but I did expect to see the ability to get a gun to be made to be much more difficult.
Do I think showing those crime scene photos would make a difference? I do. But, of course, they could only be shown if ALL those families agreed to it (that would be my stance - all in or no go.)
So readers, not to send a chill down your spine because it is the worst, worst outcome for any child in a school, but do you think if it were your child and you thought it would move the needle and save other children, would you want photos of your child released to the public?