“Closure” is a phantom. “Closure” is a word used in the media, but rarely in real life, to describe a phase of grief that mostly doesn’t exist. And “closure” is the crutch used by reporters and editors to justify a story that otherwise lacks heft. So when WXIA and WAGA both cover the anniversary of the Fulton courthouse killings by saying the victims still lack closure– they’re really merely re-stating the obvious: Justice hasn’t been done. Justice is tangible. Closure don’t mean spit. When you hear it in the media, it means they’re groping for something to say.
And by the way, Brian Nichols is not the Fulton Co. Courthouse “shooter.” Nichols is the “gunman,” the “killer” (by his own admission), the “murderer” if / when he’s found guilty, but neither Nichols nor Seung-Hui Cho nor Steven Kazmierczak nor Robert Hawkins nor Eric Harris nor Dylan Kliebold were “shooters.” They were “gunmen.” They were “killers.” Used to be, they’d be called “mass murderers,” back when that term evoked images of Charlie Starkweather or Charles Whitman (Huntley / Brinkley coverage below). “Mass murderer” is a pretty inflammatory term, though. Sadly, it would be used too often today.
But they are not “shooters.” A shooter is a drink. And in the NBC coverage of the Whitman killings: not a word about closure.