Thursday, December 6, 2007

How do we change?

Today when I got to work I started reading the news headlines on various sites as I usually do. On aol I found the Omaha mall massacre that occurred yesterday afternoon. A 19 year old walked into a shopping mall with a rifle. After taking the elevator up to the third floor of Von Maur he began shooting. Eight people were fatally shot within minutes. After reading this story I started thinking crazy things about his lack of motive and how can we possibly protect ourselves from situations like this. I didn't get far and went back to working.

A few hours later I'm on myspace and notice a close friend from high school posted a bulletin. She said a girl we had gone to high school with and graduated with was a victim in the Omaha shootings. Three hours later another friend posted that Maggie Webb had passed away. I'm not going to pretend I was close to Maggie but I certainly knew her. We had gone to school together for several years and she was close to many of my friends. I keep seeing new responses as people realize she is gone. It's hard to watch.

As I was writing that last paragraph my mother sent me an e-mail with an article about Maggie with her high school yearbook picture. She was asking if I knew her. I knew her six years ago but I wasn't even aware she lived in Nebraska. It's a real tragedy as it would be if I hadn't known her at all. What I'm wondering most is why it takes something getting this close to home to effect us. Before knowing I knew any of the victims I read the story and thought about how we can protect ourselves. Now I'm thinking, is it hopeless? Is there anything we can do or could have done? Is this a gun law issue, health care issue, or nation of celebrity issue? Shouldn't I be doing something? I know I should be. We all should be. I just don't know what it is.


A. said...

I find this post terribly interesting especially considering your earlier Bambi post. It seems that in attempting to shield our children/ourselves from the very natural and necessary trials/hardships of life, (which most fables and fairy-tales draw from, and which we seem to regard with an unprecedented amount of fear and ignorance), we have exposed ourselves to an even more dangerous fantasy world, (video games anyone?). One where we are detached completely from reality, where violence and hate have no THAT to me is scary.

GMEyster said...

It is extremely scary. And I don't know what the answer is either.

I saw something where the kid that did the shooting said 'now I will be famous' in his note that he left. And he got his wish.

Where did he get a rifle, anyway?

It certainly gives me pause when I see some frantic person near me, who just looks like they are one step away from pulling something cocealed out of their bag. You just never know.

What I wonder is....are there signs leading up to things like this? Are the people who shoot others for fame, from depression, for whatever reason....are they giving clues to those around them that would alert the threat of instability? Do they HAVE people in their lives that are looking out for them?

There is so much to consider.