Such a despicable crime defies comprehension. One cannot use the term terrorism, even though the act triggers fear, since there is no ideological or political aim. Although such mass murder is heinous and inhuman, it cannot be considered as a crime against humanity without political, philosophical, racial, or religious motives.
Yet such a crime is a denial of humanity, not only of one person, but of a large number of victims who were, with a few exceptions, anonymous and had nothing to do with the perpetrator’s frustrating life experience or the organization on which he cast blame.
Such acts challenge our ability to react. Efforts are made to secure public places; companies and regulatory authorities will revise air transport security protocols, but criminal law cannot have any effect on the criminal who kills himself in the process.
Pictures of this young man smiling in front of the Golden Gate Bridge or wearing glittering sportswear have been shown all around the world. They ensure the triumph of the diabolical ego of potential mass murderers and are an insult to the families of the victims. Let us punish such odious beings using one of the harshest sanctions the social group can inflict, a total and absolute anonymous treatment. May his face be concealed with black on any video or photographic representation, may his name be ignored forever. In the past, France used to inflict the sentence of “civil death,” a sanction that until 1854 would treat convicts serving a life sentence as dead. Though physically alive, the convict was treated as dead, losing legal personality and all its attributes. Let us impose the sentence of “social death,” by no longer recognizing as human those denying our humanity.
There is no need to amend any law or draft international agreements to do so. Let us act as responsible citizens by changing the law through our collective behavior, which may become a national and international custom. Custom is a way of reclaiming the law where our representatives are slow or powerless in making it evolve. Let us create a usage or common practice of treating collective murderers anonymously, so that neither our contemporaries, nor our descendants will be able to know, or even care to know, the name or the face of those who despise and hate mankind. Some newspapers and television channels already do so. Such behavior must be promoted and generalized. We do not want to allow our contemporaries to make a gruesome connection between happiness and horror; we want to prevent our children from portraying the denial of mankind with smile and innocence.