Talk:Midland–Odessa shooting

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Naming the victims[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
This is the fourth recent similar event and discussion.[1][2][3] Per consensus at WP:VPP, such questions must be determined on a case-by-case basis.
I note that WP:ONUS is quite clear. This TP is not the forum to argue against or to change that which is clearly stated in a policy document. Consensus is not unanimity, nor is WP a democracy. Consensus is determined by strength of arguement.
Significant in this instance, the RfC has not indicated how the victims names might be included in the article: whether this is a list of sorts or whether they would be included in prose in a way that helps explain how or why the events occurred.[4] This impacts how arguements might be weighed. I am also cognizant that, given clearer options, the discussion and comments might well have been more focused on such options. I would point to the close at Talk:Virginia Beach shooting. In consequence of how the question has been phrased, I have not applied any particular weight to comments made.
There is no consensus on including the victims' names in the article. However, this close is made without prejudice to a further RfC that is more specific as to how the victims' names might be included in the article. Having said that, I would hope and expect that any further RfC is cognizant of the related closes and that my "without prejudice" provision is not abused as a "waste of time". Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 11:29, 6 October 2019 (UTC)


Hi,

I'd like to get a discussion started on whether the names of the victims should be included. Some of their names have been released: [5]. David O. Johnson (talk) 03:20, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

This is the discussion we have to have for every fatal attack, per [6]. WWGB (talk) 03:42, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude. Readers' understanding of the event is not enhanced by the inclusion of a list of unremarkable deceased. It is sufficient to include age ranges, gender or ethnicity where such details are relevant to motive. I now await the arrival of LC, BS and IH to argue otherwise! WWGB (talk) 03:45, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude - Agree with the User:WWGB above. The victims have relatives and other survivors of the event, and it may run afoul of WP:BLP to name the victims since doing so may lead to BLP issues with their close relatives. One example is the young female postal carrier who was murdered when the perp hijacked her US Postal Office delivery truck. She is survived by her twin sister who was on the phone with her when her twin sister was killed. There are all sorts of ways that naming victims can adversely affect the survivors or their family members and we need to be sensitive to these issues. Unless the victims are notable of their own right they should not be mentioned BY NAME in such an article out of respect for the privacy rights of those survivors of the event. Octoberwoodland (talk) 04:00, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Include. – They are pertinent to the story. They have reliable sources. They are included in all other reporting sources. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:21, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Include forever all who die to make a death article and are officially IDed after kin notification to every mainstream English outlet. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:43, September 2, 2019 (UTC)
  • Obviously include. We are writing an article, aren't we? Why would we write an article and leave out a key component of it, such as the names of victims? If there is any doubt as to whether inclusion of victim names contributes to the quality of articles, one must do the obvious thing—look at articles that contain victim names. Would Stoneman Douglas High School shooting or Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting or Virginia Tech shooting or Pittsburgh synagogue shooting or 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting be improved if the names of the victims were removed? Obviously not. Bus stop (talk) 05:14, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Include. Good grief, here we go again. Of course, the names should be included, per WP:DUEWEIGHT considerations. The names are widely reported by all the WP:RS covering the story, and they represent a basic factual component of the story. We should do what the sources do and include the names in the WP article as well. Nsk92 (talk) 08:14, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Include. All details appearing in WP:RELIABLESOURCES, including names of victims, should be eligible for inclusion in Wikipedia articles that delineate news events. There should be no censorship, other than WP:COMMONSENSE regarding length of lists or WP:UNDUEWEIGHT given to specific names or details. —Roman Spinner (talkcontribs) 08:49, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude - Per WP:ONUS and WP:NOTEVERYTHING, verifiable RS reporting alone is not enough. The names are completely meaningless to all but a very few readers. The criterion for inclusion of any information is whether it adds to a reader's understanding of the event; these names do not and cannot. If they are deemed relevant, genders, ages, and/or ethnicities could be summarized in prose.
    Further, there are arguable privacy concerns. These victims are not "public figures" who chose to waive their privacy, they had absolutely no say in their selection. "Well it's available in the news anyway" has never been an accepted reason to include something in Wikipedia.
    For the multiple excellent counters to arguments about precedent in other articles, including the vast majority in which the lists have received little or no discussion, search for "90%" at Talk:Aurora, Illinois shooting/Archive 2#RfC: Victim names. The 90% number largely represents the effective equivalent of democratic voting by editing – Wikipedia is not a democracy – and it falls dramatically when you look at articles where the issue has received significant scrutiny in recent years.[7] It falls so far that nobody can claim that it represents a community consensus for the lists. Attempts to reach a consensus in community venues such as the Village Pump have repeatedly failed, despite arguments about precedent, and there could be little clearer evidence of the absence of a community consensus for the lists. ―Mandruss  09:38, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude per all of the various arguments that are usually given for not having to include the names purely on the basis of them appearing in news reports.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 09:44, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude - they're of no use to the vast majority of readers, aren't useful info & don't help readers to understand the event. The names being included in some media articles about a shooting doesn't mean that we have to include them. Jim Michael (talk) 11:24, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment Just for a change of discussion since you all seem to have the same conversation after each shooting. Seems there should be a policy discussion on this as these are becoming so common that pretty soon we won't be writing a Wikipedia page for each event, they will become non-notable. After the El Paso shootings my adult son posted on social media that if he is ever involved in a mass shooting he wants photos of his bullet ridden body on a billboard in the hopes that it might help get gun laws changed. It seems that if a family speaks out in the media - naming their loved one then I can see that it might be appropriate to include names, but not if it is just mentioned in a RS. I don't have the wisdom to know the best answer, we want to be sensitive but then again it isn't our job to be sensitive, but to state the facts. The family knows their loved one is dead, it's not as if this will be surprise, a Google search for the name will turn up whether or not we mention it on Wikipedia. I say list the names that are made public by the family. The others can be descriptive as in 15-year old high school student, 25-year old father of one ... Sgerbic (talk) 20:39, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@Sgerbic: As far as I know, victim lists are always "made public" by the authorities (i.e., the police). The names are not made public -- or withheld from the public -- by family members. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 00:49, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
In many places, next of kin can request non-publication for privacy reasons. It's one reason cops zip up "pending notification". Also don't want them getting "the news" from the news. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:11, September 3, 2019 (UTC)
I dunno about that. I believe that in the USA, names of the deceased victims are a matter of public record. No? Anyway ... under your theory ... if a family member were to request non-publication, then there would be no publication. Thus, no reliable sources. Thus, Wikipedia would not include it. I think that this discussion is based on victim names being published in reliable sources. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 03:32, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
America does tend to lean more toward press freedom than personal property, relative to regimes like Canada, Germany and Spain. But cops still allow opting out, case-by-case, especially when not charging with a crime. In practice, it's all out in the open for these decedents (police are rightly mum on the "juvenile female", but her kin rightly isn't) InedibleHulk (talk) 03:57, September 3, 2019 (UTC)
  • Include, of course, just like we do with 90% of similar articles. WP:ONUS does not apply here (in so much as it's an irrelevant reason to exclude), and a lengthier counter argument can be seen at Wikipedia:Casualty lists. I'd also direct everyones attention to the debate directly above about including the name of the perpetrator: you can't have even coverage of an event when you go out of your way to name and detail one side of it at the cost of the other. —Locke Coletc 22:25, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
    See also: User:Locke Cole/Mass shooting victim statistics. —Locke Coletc 22:26, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
As ever, the "90%" claim is based on selective original research and has no status. See also Wikipedia:Victim lists. WWGB (talk) 01:38, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Status: FACT. Numbers don't lie, even if you do. —Locke Coletc 05:05, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
False Assumptions, Concocted Theory. WWGB (talk) 05:45, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
According to acronyms, sure. But as the old anagram goes, a concocted theory is a cohort to decency (though a false assumption only becomes famous panelists). So wrong again, wee willie gopher boy (or whatever you're supposed to stand for)! InedibleHulk (talk) 07:48, September 3, 2019 (UTC)
Where did you come from? This was a duologue. WWGB (talk) 08:00, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Jumped the guardrail. But like Elizabeth defending Savage from Sherri, nothing devious. Per analogy, anyway. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:32, September 3, 2019 (UTC)
Even if the "90%" is to be believed, I encourage editors to consider the rebuttal in my !vote. ―Mandruss  02:15, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Tl;dr: "if you look at recent articles the number drops", sure, but the only reason recent numbers have been dropping is because we've somehow shifted the burden from the usual "this is the way it's always been done" to "oh look we get to debate this again each and every time because someone misread an RFC result". —Locke Coletc 05:05, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
No, what's happened is that we have moved from little or no participation/debate (over all) to higher participation and thorough debate. Four years ago this issue wasn't on anybody's radar. Wikipedia never does things just because that's how they have always been done; if we did that, we wouldn't have WP:CCC. When we have site-wide consistency, it's where we have a community consensus that site-wide consistency is the overriding concern; we have no such community consensus pertaining to these lists. To the contrary, the community has repeatedly said that this needs ongoing case-by-case evaluation. You are free to try to convince the community otherwise, but article talk is not the venue to do that, and, until you do so, your precedent argument is in direct conflict with the community. ―Mandruss  05:24, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Include - per Roman Spinner. - starship.paint (talk) 00:30, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude - Per WP:ONUS and WP:NOTEVERYTHING. If people need this information it will always be somewhere else on the internet and in the news archives. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 19:02, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Include I don't believe WP:ONUS applies in this situation. Comatmebro (talk) 19:47, 20 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Exclude – For all those supporting inclusion, you should read the closing summaries at Talk:2019 Dayton shooting and Talk:2019 El Paso shooting. Stating that the names are "pertinent" and "key" without adequately explaining why does not make them so. We do not blindly follow sources for the sake of mirroring them, especially when the sources are exclusively news sources. Inclusionists should instead focus on why the names hold encyclopedic relevance, backing claims with secondary, academic sources. It's the key component missing in supporting arguments. --GoneIn60 (talk) 14:32, 3 October 2019 (UTC)

DS note[edit]

You know how it goes. In case there's edit warring over this, there needs to be consensus for inclusion for the names to be added. No big surprises there, right? El_C 03:54, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

When there's no consensus to include, there is no consensus to exclude. In that case, victim names will never be added. So, it would become a de facto policy to never list victim names. All of the "discussions" will just be "for show" and will be pointless and futile. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:19, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Indeed, WP:ONUS can be a harsh mistress. El_C 04:46, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Then, why have these discussions? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 05:28, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
I don't have an answer to that. El_C 05:31, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
I had a sweet proposition on how we could "take care of" the sidebroad and our faithful battleaxe both, but it turned whimsical and tonedeaf in Act III. Still a good yarn, though. Perhaps another day, for another page. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:54, September 2, 2019 (UTC)
Sun-struck, stuck in mid tropic strut, it sometimes stands. El_C 11:11, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Yes, exactly! But without the sun, grass and pink plastic bird. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:03, September 3, 2019 (UTC)
Joseph A. Spadaro—you say "In that case, victim names will never be added." Do you mean to this article? Or do you mean to Wikipedia? I don't know what "will never be added" is in reference to. Bus stop (talk) 05:33, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@Bus stop: These discussions pop up every time we have a mass shooting article. If there are several "supports" and also several "opposes", then that will always yield "no consensus". According to an editor above, that means "no consensus to include the names". (I'd argue, why can't it mean "no consensus to exclude the names"?) So, if this pattern continues repeatedly, there will always be "no consensus to include". Which means that that "no consensus rule" will never allow any victim names to be added. Which means that the "no consensus" rule will become a de facto rule of never allowing victim names. My point is that we should not allow this to happen. That is, for a de facto policy to be implemented, when there has been no consensus outright for a policy to always omit victim names. Hope my explanation makes sense. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:29, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@Joseph A. Spadaro: First, I think you think that a consensus to include would require unanimous or near-unanimous support for inclusion. That's not the case; probably 70% support would be enough for most closers.
Second, your reasoning that this all seems a pointless waste of time is exactly the reasoning that has been presented at community level multiple times, including by me, and has always failed. You're not saying anything new, and you're preaching to the choir.
Third, what the hell is a "de facto policy", and how could it have any weight when the community expressly refuses to support what it says? Are you proposing some kind of weird anarchy of editors who edit this type of article? If so, that's a non-starter. ―Mandruss  01:56, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
@Mandruss: (1) I know that unanimity is not required. It is subjective. And with a 70% / 30% split, an administrator can easily claim (subjectively) "no consensus". (2) I agree that a policy should be delineated once and for all, so we don't have to go through the same pointless exercise each time. (3) A de facto policy is a policy that does not exist in policy form, but -- through conduct -- it becomes a "policy". So, we have no (outright) policy that says "victim lists cannot be included". But, as this system is "rigged" (namely, no consensus = exclude the victim list) ... it then becomes a de facto policy that the victim lists are excluded (even though there is no explicit policy to do so). It becomes a policy in practice. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 03:44, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
(1) They can, but they rarely do. I much prefer reality to hypothesis. (2) Good for you. Please show up the next time this comes around at the Village Pump. (3) Sure, just as soon as all list proponents, present and future, including you, agree not to add a list, based on this de facto policy. The chances of that happening closely approximate zero (0), but we're having lots of fun endlessly talking about it. (4) The system is to omit disputed content that lacks consensus. That applies to any disputed content, and there is nothing "rigged" about that no matter how many times you spout that word. You've yet to describe a sensible and workable alternative, and it would be pointless to do so at article level anyway since we don't decide such things at article level. ―Mandruss  04:11, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Then, why have these discussions? As opposed to a rule to omit the lists at every new article, which the community has consistently declined to support? We have these discussions because the community has told us to have these discussions. ―Mandruss  09:50, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@Mandruss: See my reply above to Bus stop. These discussions are futile. The same arguments are always put forth, by both sides ... and usually by the same editors. It's a waste of everyone's time. And we repeat the process every time there is a new article. It is futile. And the "system" is "rigged" if "no consensus" will always mean "exclude victim names". So, I encapsulated all of that by simply saying "why bother to have these discussions at all?". Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:31, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
On some talk pages of articles about mass killings there has been a consensus to include victims' names & on some others there's been a consensus to exclude them (depending primarily on who the participants in the discussion are). There have also been some in which no consensus has been reached. It's long been the case that in regard to contentious info, a consensus in required to include it, not a consensus required to exclude it. Hence no consensus means exclude. Jim Michael (talk) 17:03, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Jim Michael—you don't think the system is rigged? Do you ever attempt to remove victim lists from already-existing articles? There are plenty to choose from. No, you do not. You only attempt to prevent the inclusion of victim names at articles at their inception. No one is going over to Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and saying "remove the victim list". Can you guess why not? They would stand a snowball's chance in hell at succeeding at that fool's errand. What we are discussing is quality. An article containing a victim list would be reduced in quality if a victim list were removed from it. And that would be evident to all involved editors at that article. That is why you do not attempt to remove victim lists. Your modus operandi is to go to articles at their inception to prevent information from ever entering an article where it would be evident that this information was contributory to the overall article's quality. If your argument in opposition to victim lists is to have any credibility with me, I would like to see you cause a victim list to be removed from an already-existing article. I would like to see you even attempt to do that. So far I have not seen even one instance of anyone attempting to remove a victim list from an article. On a separate but related note El C is on record as saying "But I've been on record of generally being against using victims' names in mass shootings — are you sure you want me to the one who closes?" I've had to bring this unfortunate point up before, but here they are overseeing a similar situation, in which an RfC really serves no purpose: if anyone voices any objection, however trivial and not based in policy, there is "no consensus to include". That is not in the spirit of WP:CONSENSUS. Bus stop (talk) 17:51, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
I agree 100% with everything that Bus stop said. This "rigged system" needs to be addressed. In these discussions, one can always go out and gather a few "opposed" votes. Thereby, insuring a "no consensus". Thereby, insuring the final desired goal ... to exclude victim lists. This is against the spirit of the consensus policies. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:20, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Do you have another proposal? Because WP:ONUS seems to apply here. El_C 20:28, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
WP:ONUS says "The onus to achieve consensus for inclusion is upon those seeking to include disputed content." This RfC addresses the need for arriving at consensus. What is consensus? "Consensus on Wikipedia does not mean unanimity (which is ideal but not always achievable), neither is it the result of a vote." WP:CONSENSUS further tells us "In determining consensus, consider the quality of the arguments, the history of how they came about, the objections of those who disagree, and existing policies and guidelines. The quality of an argument is more important than whether it represents a minority or a majority view. The arguments 'I just don't like it' and 'I just like it' usually carry no weight whatsoever." Bus stop (talk) 20:56, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@Bus stop: Yes, and uninvolved closers have repeatedly judged "no consensus", particularly in the more recent discussions with wide participation. As you've been told multiple times, you may appeal such a close if you feel it was improper. And you have not done so. Is that because you know such an appeal would fail, perhaps? You can try such an appeal, or you can start a discussion at the Village Pump, but PLEASE stop disrupting article-level discussions with pointless site-level debates. ―Mandruss  01:33, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Mandruss—I will join you in opposing inclusion of victim names if you can tell me about the privacy concerns that you are only hinting at. Bus stop (talk) 11:49, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
I have elaborated at previous articles where you were a participant in the discussions, so I doubt it. No, considering your pattern of failure to hear and asking questions that have already been answered multiple times, I'm not going to go find that and link it for you. ―Mandruss  12:37, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
As Bus stop well knows, this was already addressed here. But feel free to keep bringing it up again and again. And again, I will not be closing this RfC discussion, but I will enforce WP:ONUS — if you have an alternative to it, feel free to propose it. Briefly, please. El_C 18:25, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
You are on record as saying you are "against" victim names in shootings and I think your above posts contain that bias if not explicitly then implicitly. Have you considered summoning an uninvolved admin to replace you at this page? Bus stop (talk) 19:18, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Actually, I don't even think it makes that much of a difference if we have the names or not, since the names are already out there by media outlets. What I am concerned about is aimless edit warring, which I am nipping at the bud. Yes, feel free to find another uninvolved admin, I have no objection to that, and it will in fact, be a relief. El_C 20:28, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
Not much of a difference? The normal way involves readers continuing to read our article, while the newfangled runaround has them clicking a footnote to the bottom, a link to another site and a Back/X button to return to (the bottom of) our article. I'm not saying many are distracted away from finishing our stories, but it wouldn't surprise me online. Especially if the article we're sending our traffic to has catchy headlines in its giant sidebar. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:53, September 3, 2019 (UTC)
I think the notion that a large number of readers arrive-or-leave the article due to the victims' names, or that the victims' names are used as clickbait, is a novel idea that can't be established, anyway, but intuitively it sounds like an exaggeration. Which is why I continue to say, yes, not much of a difference. El_C 02:07, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
The names aren't the clickbait, the "Click Here for the MUNDANE DETAILS Wikipedia is Too "Sensitive" to Share!" implicit in their absence hooks the crowd. Then the richer article retains their attention with its explicit clickbait. Distraction is the root of the problem, not content. If you can imagine anything, more people are already doing it online than you'd have guessed. Underestimation is human nature. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:49, September 3, 2019 (UTC)
As is overestimation, in turn. Whatever the true state of affairs is, it is not something that's easily quantifiable. Intuitively, it still does not seem that important whether we display the names of the victims or not. But YMMV. El_C 03:07, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
You want easily quantifiable, click twice to read pertinent missing data. Now click zero times for the same result. Which system uses the greater amount of energy, the efficient or the inefficient? InedibleHulk (talk) 03:24, September 3, 2019 (UTC)
But the significance of which to our readership is presumed a priori. That, perhaps, is where we differ. El_C 03:55, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Bingo. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:23, September 3, 2019 (UTC)

So the exclude side has WP:VL and the include side has WP:CASL? Seems a bit... forky. El_C 22:46, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

Well, there were two issues: 1) I didn't want to try and take over an existing essay, that seems like a recipe for edit warring or just straight up conflict (which I am getting tired of as it is), and 2) victim lists implies the issue only applies to attack events (shootings) where casualties can apply to really any event where some people are killed (deliberately or not). —Locke Coletc 23:19, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

GoneIn60 says "Inclusionists should instead focus on why the names hold encyclopedic relevance, backing claims with secondary, academic sources. It's the key component missing in supporting arguments."

The article presently tells us that someone named Seth Aaron Ator was driving a Honda when he was stopped on Interstate 20 for failure to signal a left turn. Can GoneIn60 tell me how any of that information has "encyclopedic relevance"?

I favor the inclusion of non-indiscriminate information that falls within the scope of an article. That would include names and ages of victims, and that would include that someone named Seth Aaron Ator was driving a Honda when he was stopped on Interstate 20 for failure to signal a left turn. Speaking of failures, I fail to see why there would be any reluctance to include a list of names and ages of the victims.

Many more sources can be cited supporting names and ages of victims. This information is prominent in sources. I think our role is to reflect sources and that deviation from sources calls for the presentation of a good reason for such deviation. That reason is the "key component missing" from the argument to omit victim names. (As I don't want to WP:BLUDGEON, I may not respond beyond this one post.) Bus stop (talk) 13:05, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

Bus, I understand your position pretty well by now, as it hasn't changed one iota over the course of several victim name discussions I've participated in. Often, these discussions are split roughly 50/50 between inclusion and exclusion when the number of participants reaches a considerable amount. That pattern should tell you that the supporting arguments put forth are not swaying enough of the opposition, and that was my point. Long-term significance in academic sources is still something that has yet to be demonstrated (you could cite examples from older mass shootings, because obviously this one isn't old enough). The news sources above are precisely the type I referred to in my !vote above. While newsworthy, a piece written with journalistic intent may occasionally contain details that are not necessarily of encyclopedic value. A significant number of editors in each of these discussions are questioning the names in this respect (not ages), and so far there haven't been any convincing responses. I know you'd rather see omission be placed on the defensive and held to the same standard as inclusion, but that's just not how it works around here. I could cite policy and guidelines to explain it, but you and I both know you're acutely aware of which ones I'd cite. --GoneIn60 (talk) 13:42, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Please address the following: what is the "encyclopedic relevance" (your terminology) that someone named Seth Aaron Ator was driving a Honda when he was stopped on Interstate 20 for failure to signal a left turn? I asked you that in my first post. You did not respond to it. Bus stop (talk) 13:48, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Despite your attempts to redirect the discussion, the focus of this RfC is on the inclusion of victim names. You've attempted to add ages into the mix forming a straw man, and now you're trying to assume a non-defensive position by challenging the inclusion of the perpetrator's name. If you'd truly like to challenge it, or any other part of that statement, feel free to begin a new discussion in a separate thread. You can also refer back to a previous response I gave to Locke Cole at the 2019 Dayton shooting RfC (a section of the discussion in which you actually participated). There's no reason to rehash it here. --GoneIn60 (talk) 14:15, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
GoneIn60—you are trying awfully hard not to discuss this. I retract my mention of ages. Why would there be "encyclopedic relevance" in someone named Seth Aaron Ator driving a Honda when he was stopped on Interstate 20 for failure to signal a left turn and there not be "encyclopedic relevance" in the names of the victims? Do you understand the question? And by the way, I am not "challenging the inclusion of the perpetrator's name". As I said above I favor the inclusion of non-indiscriminate information that falls within the scope of an article. Please explain to me for instance the "encyclopedic relevance" (your terminology) of the car being a "Honda" and this taking place on "Interstate 20" and the infraction being "failure to signal a left turn". Bus stop (talk) 14:30, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Start a new thread to explore this further or simply read my previous response. --GoneIn60 (talk) 14:42, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
No, I won't be starting a "new thread", but you are welcome to do so, and I will probably join you there if you start a new thread. Bus stop (talk) 14:44, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
Didn't think you would. I'm not challenging it, so I have no reason to. --GoneIn60 (talk) 14:46, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
GoneIn60—Wikipedia is not really about winning. We have different ideas and we are trying to resolve them. Bus stop (talk) 14:54, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
I'd take it a step further. It's not at all about winning. Good advice for those who need it. --GoneIn60 (talk) 21:31, 4 October 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────The perp is the cause of and the central figure in a mass shooting. His actions & some basic biographical info about him (name, age/DOB, residence, convictions) are relevant. In this case, what he was doing when police stopped him & why they stopped him is very relevant because Ator started the shooting at that point. The make of the car isn't important. Jim Michael (talk) 20:42, 4 October 2019 (UTC)


The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I note the recent creation of the essay Wikipedia:Casualty lists. This edit by the essay's creator, Locke Cole, states: victim lists [link added] implies the issue only applies to attack events (shootings) where casualties can apply to really any event where some people are killed (deliberately or not). The term casualties clearly has applicability to military history. I am making a post to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history to inform the project of the essay's creation. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 11:51, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 5 September 2019[edit]

"Democrats generally urged more gun control laws, while Republicans typically offered thoughts and prayers, called for cultural changes, and blamed mental illness issues." should be changed to "Democrats typically urged more gun control laws, while Republicans generally offered thoughts and prayers, called for cultural changes, and blamed mental illness issues. 2603:9000:F706:68:715A:2FF8:55B1:2FE9 (talk) 12:00, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

Not done I think "typically" would be too strong a word for this? Nigos (talk Contribs) 12:22, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
I am neither opposed or in favor of the suggestion. It would seem to me that it would make no difference. But I could be convinced by the person making the suggestion if they provided good reasoning for the suggested change. Bus stop (talk) 12:42, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
As the person who introduced the adverbs (to not literally include everyone), I can verify your suspicion; makes no difference. Just didn't want to be repetitive and something had to go first. If "typical" is one of those words that sounds meaner than it should (or if "general" seems distinguished and cool), rotating the pairings periodically might be "fair", perhaps every four years (I don't care which team starts). InedibleHulk (talk) 05:34, September 12, 2019 (UTC)
Could also go with "some" and "several", if we want pure vague numbers instead of implicit wider patterns (or if we'd simply rather describe nouns than verbs, nothing wrong with that). InedibleHulk (talk) 05:46, September 12, 2019 (UTC)

The Lead[edit]

Can we make the lead more informative per MOS:LEAD? I’ve tried to change it a couple times but it keeps getting reverted. I’d just like to see the perp mentioned in the first sentence. The unrelated kinsman (talk) 01:53, 16 September 2019 (UTC)

I oppose putting the name of the perp in the first lead sentence. It does not add anything to a quick understanding the incident. The second sentence paragraph gives his name and gives context. I think it works fine like that. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 07:15, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
I agree. No need for the name in the lead. HiLo48 (talk) 08:19, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
It doesn't need to be in the opening sentence, but should be in the WP:LEAD. Otherwise it looks like a flawed "don't glorify the shooter" argument.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 08:23, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
So we should leave it as it is now with the name in the second paragraph. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 18:17, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
The name of the shooter is not important in any way at all. His background might be, as it might help explain why it happened. HiLo48 (talk) 21:59, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
So in that case the WP:LEAD of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting should not say that Adam Lanza was the shooter. Obviously it does, because the WP:LEAD summarizes material in the rest of the article. This objection looks like a variation of "don't glorify the shooter".--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 05:46, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
I choose my words carefully. Do not try to claim I meant something else. The incident is important. What happened is important. Neither the name of the shooter, nor really the victims, are important to people who didn't know them. HiLo48 (talk) 06:38, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
It doesn't make sense not to name the shooter in the WP:LEAD section, as virtually all articles about mass shootings do this. Why is Ator different in this respect?--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:42, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
Your only argument is covered by WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. That essay answers your question. HiLo48 (talk) 23:11, 17 September 2019 (UTC)
I'm wondering why Ator should not be named in the WP:LEAD when virtually all mass shooting articles do this. It is fully compliant with WP:LEAD guidelines to do this, and it still looks like some sort of "don't glorify the shooter" argument to remove the name while keeping it later on in the article. Quote: "The lead should stand on its own as a concise overview of the article's topic. It should identify the topic, establish context, explain why the topic is notable, and summarize the most important points, including any prominent controversies".--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 04:29, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Where does the shooter's name fit into that template? HiLo48 (talk) 06:42, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
There are WP:BLPCRIME issues when the alleged shooter is still alive and facing trial. When the shooter is dead and there is no serious doubt that he did it, there is no problem with naming the person in the lead section and the infobox.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 07:35, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
But why do it at all? His name makes no difference to what happened. HiLo48 (talk) 08:02, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
HiLo48—why, in your opinion of course, would the name make no difference? Do you have some reason for wanting to omit this information from the lede? If so, can you articulate that reason? Bus stop (talk) 14:39, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure what's so difficult to understand about my position. The name of the shooter makes no difference at all to what happened. HiLo48 (talk) 03:06, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
It doesn't make any difference if the 2019 El Paso shooting was allegedly carried out by Patrick Crusius or John Doe, but he is still named in the WP:LEAD section and the main body of the article. We're now going round in circles on this issue and you still haven't given a clear and convincing reason why Ator's name should be removed.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:12, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
1. See WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. 2. Surely my reason is 100% clear. As for whether it's convincing, you're simply saying it was done somewhere else, so again, see WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. You see, that reason is no reason at all. HiLo48 (talk) 06:30, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
The discussion is now beyond the scope of this talk page because it seems to revolve around making an exception for Ator. There have been numerous previous discussions about including full lists of victims' names (which I oppose) but saying "the shooter's name makes no difference" is controversial because it looks like a variation of a "don't glorify the shooter" argument. This argument has never gone very far on talk pages. Ator is named, it was in reliable news coverage, it isn't a problem.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:35, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Any circles we are going around in here are entirely of your creation. This is NOT a variation of a "don't glorify the shooter" argument, although I certainly don't want to glorify him. My argument is precisely what I say it is. Stop trying to represent it as something else. That's bad faith. And I don't really care what happens in other articles. Have you actually read WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS? I am discussing this article, not others. HiLo48 (talk) 07:17, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
Per WP:OSE, "comparisons are important as the encyclopedia should be consistent in the content that it provides or excludes". WWGB (talk) 07:31, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
The question under discussion is whether THIS article should include the shooter's name in the lead, and that's what I have been commenting on. If the only reason for including it is that it's done in other articles, then I retire from the discussion now. The question here may as well not have been asked. HiLo48 (talk) 08:48, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
It's hard to understand why anyone would be agonizing over any of this. Bus stop (talk) 14:32, 19 September 2019 (UTC)
I hesitate to revive an issue that appears to be resolved. But I doubt it would stay resolved forever, so here's my 2c. I oppose "because that's how it's done in other articles" reasoning, which seems a very weak argument at best. But this name should be in the lead for the same reasons the perp's name should be in the lead of any articles about events with similar characteristics – zero doubt about the perp's identity and there will be no trial. Those reasons:
  1. He is the active actor in the event. His actions and the event are one and the same.
  2. All RS coverage of the event names him. Any exceptions are articles about multiple events, related political issues, etc., not specifically and exclusively about this event.
It doesn't need to be in the first sentence, and what we have now (permalink, do not edit) seems fine to me. ―Mandruss  10:51, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
I don't think that reliable sources would support that "his actions and the event are one and the same". But I think his name can be mentioned in the second paragraph of the lede. Bus stop (talk) 13:10, 22 September 2019 (UTC)