I had another post planned for today, but with the news out of Virginia this morning, it didn’t seem appropriate. It’s a tragedy, the way Charleston was a tragedy, and Sandy Hook and Aurora and Columbine before that. That’s not even close to a comprehensive list, which is so, so twisted. I try to keep this blog a happy place, and not as heavy on the feelings as it has this week, but man. This particular shooting hit me harder than some others (again, the fact that there are “others” — sick), and it’s not just the manner itself. I know a good amount of people working in journalism, broadcast journalism included. The thought that any of my acquaintances or friends could be hurt while doing their job, (not even covering a dangerous situation, but a story on local tourism) makes me feel like someone kicked me in my stomach.
Recently, I was thinking about next year’s elections, and I realized that the youngest voters will have been born in 1998. They don’t really know a pre-9/11 world, or a pre-Columbine world — they know the “war on terror” and mass shootings at schools and movie theaters and churches and shopping malls. One of my first memories of television was the Oklahoma City bombings. I was four years old. This is wrong.
It might seem flippant to associate this whole event with a trivial thing like Star Wars quote, but it was the first thing I thought of when I read that today’s gunman was “motivated” by the Charleston gunman, who had been angered by the way George Zimmerman was treated. What kind of cycle is that? I’ll leave the arguments about gun control and mental health to other (hopefully smarter) people, but can’t we just collectively as a society stop with the hate? There is no reason why we should fear each other for being different, or continue to perpetuate anger against our fellow man. It only leads to suffering.
Rest in peace, Allison and Adam.