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Don't reward those who commit heinous acts with publicity [Letter]

When Howard County Police Chief William J. McMahon announced during his recent press conference that he was not going to show the self-portrait taken just before the Columbia Mall shooter began his rampage, my thought was that finally someone in the public arena gets it ("Police say Columbia mall shooter wanted to mimic Columbine," March 12).

Giving unnecessary publicity to these heinous acts provides the perpetrators the notoriety they likely were seeking.

But this morning when I saw photos of the shooter splashed across The Sun's front page above the fold, my thought was "what boneheaded editorial decision justifies that?"

Did it occur to anyone on your staff that this might encourage other mentally unstable wannabes to take similar actions, knowing that their names and faces will live in infamy?

Nothing substantive beyond what we already knew was revealed at the press conference, certainly nothing that warranted The Sun's sensational coverage.

Write feature articles on the importance of bringing mental health issues out of the dark, but please don't give aid and comfort to those who might want to become the next mass shooter.

Sandra L. Wighton, Baltimore

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