Monday, September 16, 2013

Another Shooting

To my son Tommy,

I cringe writing this letter today because, though I want to keep you informed on current events of your young life, there is another mass shooting today.  I feel like these come too often and too quickly in the world these days.  Details are still unclear and once again may never be clear.  So far the media has reported thirteen fatalities including the shooter and more injured at the Washington DC navy Yard.  It is also reported that another suspect is at large but that too is uncertain.  About the only thing I was sure of, by watching the news reports and Twitter feeds, is the media is willing to report unconfirmed accounts and rumor to scoop their competition.  Even when they got it from "the horse's mouth" they would still report it wrong.  But I digress because this is not a trial of all the media's mistakes as they are trying their best I assume.  Instead we should focus on the real issue which is yet another young man, in his mid thirties, decided that taking other people's lives was his best solution.  It wasn't.

There are few things in this world worth dying for.  There are even fewer worth killing for.  Life is too precious and there is enough death in this world without adding to it with a murderous rampage.  I am not sure what this young man's motives or reasoning was, but I am going to take a wild guess and say  it wasn't worth it.  There is no situation that is too hopeless and even if you find yourself with nothing to lose, it doesn't mean you should take the lives and loves of others out of spite.

I don't know why so many do not respect life and why they find it so easy to take another life.  Perhaps we were raised on too many action movies where the "hero" would receive respect and justice at the trigger end of a gun.   Maybe we needed a few more heroes like Fred Rogers and a few less like Rambo or Dirty Harry.  Some blame the government, some blame the lack of religion among our society, some blame the lack of parenting, some blame the economy, some blame education, some blame the seemingly never ending state of war in our world.  The amount of finger pointing directions abound.  But I wonder if there is something deeper that starts with a personal responsibility and a true respect for life.   I don't know how to install a sense to others of how precious each and every life is.  I just hope to install this love and respect for life in a four year old boy as he grows.  

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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