Our View: Background noise
December 12, 2007
Craig — The question, on the heels of yet another fatal shooting in Colorado, was posed Monday afternoon by one of the editorial board members.
Could it happen here?
As in, could acts of violence similar to the tragic events Sunday in Arvada and Colorado Springs, acts that scream at our moral makeup, happen in Craig?
Could a disturbed perpetrator invade our community’s inner sanctum like gunman Matthew Murray did?
The answer: Absolutely.
And the even sadder fact is Craig isn’t alone in that category.
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Acts like Sunday’s can happen anywhere.
Police allege Murray, a 24-year-old clad in black clothing who earlier posted an online message similar in tone to that of the Columbine gunmen, killed four people at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs and at the Youth With a Mission center in Arvada, 80 miles away.
This was an act of hate that, like all the shootings that came before it and those which will undoubtedly come after it, was neither warranted nor provoked.
This was a madman inflicting his misery upon the world. Murray isn’t the first. He won’t be the last.
The harsh reality of today’s culture, a culture that tolerates and sometimes celebrates violence, is that some of humanity’s worst acts are being committed in the unlikeliest of places.
Because of this, these shootings shock our senses all the more, and frighten us. The reason is simple: It could have been us at the store or the shopping mall or at church.
It could have been our children at school or our teen on campus.
It could have been anyone we know doing anything that people who are living their lives do.
The knee jerk reaction is to change our lives and shelter our loved ones away from the world around them, thus settling into a state of fear. In those instances, evil has won.
So, as the next question posed by an editorial board member asked, what’s the answer?
Here it is: Don’t let fear win. Don’t change a thing about how you and your family live. Don’t start retooling your life around how to avoid potential danger.
Instead, try making a difference. Try mentoring a student, volunteering to help those in need, talking to someone battling problems.
In short, try changing the culture around you.
Maybe acts of violence are here to stay, and maybe we just have to accept there is evil in the world.
Then again, maybe our best intentions and kindest actions to those around us can make a difference, a difference that pushes those moral shocking screams into the background.