I Will Not Say His Name

Paul Taylor
10 min readMar 20, 2021

And I would like to never hear it again

Photo by Brandi Ibrao on Unsplash

There was a man recently. He hurt people. He was white, and even though he ended lives based on a flawed ideology, we all know his name now.

Who am I talking about? A mass shooter? A vigilante? A President?

Doesn’t really matter, does it? There have been so many that I could link page after page here to absolutely no effect. The horror would unfold again and again like it always does. You’d truly not understand how any person could do anything other than dedicate their life to stopping it. All their names would be burned in your mind.

And in the mind of the next person to join their ranks.

I’m going to talk for a minute about some stories you’ve heard, maybe some you haven’t. The names I’ll use are the right ones for you to remember when keeping the faith that moving forward is all any of us can do.

I wish there were a better term for this, but trigger warning, folks. We will be heading away from the light for a few sections to talk about violence, narratives, and accountability.

Daniel Barden & Dylan Hockley— Sandy Hook Promise

I have to spend a lot of time on this one, but if you spend time reading anything I am going to say, please spend ten times that learning more about these names through the Sandy Hook Promise organization. They present their story in a way everyone should hear, no matter how uncomfortable or upset it makes them. I will not even attempt to relay it.

But the day the lives of Daniel, Dylan, and 24 other students and staff at their elementary school ended had a profound effect on mine. My count for that mass casualty event is off by two, and I know that.

I owned guns. A fairly immature amount. I even owned an assault rifle. It was Italian. I will say nothing enticing or positive about these guns, will not name models or makes, but will need to dip into calibers and rounds to convey a few ideas later in this article.

Owning these guns, for myriad reasons, is the single largest regret of my life. It is a source of embarrassment and shame I struggle to deal with to this day. And cancel culture has nothing to do with it.

Paul Taylor

Bedtime Story Teller. Small Business Owner. Water Sommelier. Former Line Producer for film and television.