News outlets are apparently debating whether or not to publish photos of the dead bin Laden. Personally, I don’t care to see them and I don’t want to see them. I’ve seen my share of dead people. And I’ve also seen my fair share of dying people. Death is a regular intruder into the daily routine when one does the particular job I do.
It’s not that I fear seeing a photo of bin Laden. As I said, I’ve seen plenty of death and some of it gruesome. I just don’t need to see it.
But- I think the photo should be published- for several reasons.
First, some won’t believe he’s dead until they see him dead. So to cut off the conspiracy theorists and aluminum foil helmet wearing lot, it needs to be published.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, the photo needs to be published so that people will get a sense of the high price of terrorism. Potential terrorists may well see a photo of a dead bin Laden and at least momentarily consider their course. If #1 can be gotten to, so can Mr. Insignificant.
And third, most importantly, the photo should be published so that all those unfamiliar with the face of death can see it in living color (no pun intended). Death is real. And it’s ugly. And it never looks like anything the movies portray it to be. It’s never glamorous or exciting or the like. It’s gross and unpleasant. Bowels and bladders empty and eyes glaze over and the effect of seeing it all is unforgettable and makes an important and lasting impression.
Before the funeral home gets hold of the body and pretty’s it up- the face of death is visible in the eyes of every deceased person. And everyone should have to see it several times in their life so that they value life more and become less interested in killing.
So, Washington Post and all the rest, show the photos when you can. Splash them everywhere, and let the whole world be rightly horrified. Maybe, just maybe, people will be a little less interested in their guns then.