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.