This has been a tough week in the news for us locally and nationally. The shootings in Virginia have given us another time of mourning that seems to have happened way to often lately.
I wish I had some great words of wisdom to say that would offer some way of preventing this type of tragedy, but I don't. It will be fodder for the issue of gun control opponents and proponents for quite some time.
If only coming down on either side were the answer I would take a hard stand in that direction immediately. But the problem is so much more complicated than gun control and I am afraid we will have more of these types of incidents in the future.
The rash of threats and scares that have occurred in the week following the event are almost even more disturbing. Our entire society becomes disrupted and a new layer of fear blankets us while we try and decipher which is real and what may be a cruel hoax. Because of the frequency of the real events, we cannot afford to take each perceived threat seriously.
The incident will also be a setback to those who are working hard to undo the demonization of those with mental illness. We need to make sure that in our society it is safe to seek treatment for mental illness without risking your reputation and spot in society to do it.
This also opens up a debate on how do you help someone that is too sick to help themself. The balance between our personal right to decide for ourself and the needs of society to protect itself becomes very sticky. To be honest, many times we don't even know when someone has crossed that line until it is too late.
I hope that we maintain compassion for the family of the shooter. They are a different kind of victim in this mess, but victims just the same. The pain they are feeling must be immense. Our community showed compassion to the family of the Trolley square shooter. Unless you can link them to having a direct role in making their child turn on society, then you should have empathy for the grief they have to go through alone.
Lost in the tragedy was the deaths of many illegal immigrants on a lonely stretch of road in southern Utah. The families who were depending on them to come north to make money to send home are also in mourning at this time.
We will not hold vigils and memorial services for them. They were here illegally but killed by someone they counted on to make their lives better. I took some time to mourn for them this week. I hope a few others of you did as well. Their lives were just as valuable to someone as the victims in Virginia were to their families and friends.
I also extend my sympathies to all the families that lost loved ones this week. Despite the disaster in Virginia, the world went on. Many families are grieving the loss of someone because of illness, auto accidents, or other causes. Those lives held value too.
Do not let the events of the week stop you from living. Let's all live, laugh and love a bit this week.