Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Trolley Square Tragedy

While sitting safely in our living room last night, watching Deal or No Deal, the local news cut in. This is not something that happens very often, and even as we saw the news card come up on the screen both Ben & I said "Uh Oh". Turns out that was an understatement beyond belief.

Last night, about 6:45, an 18 year old kid in a trench coat walked in to the Trolley Square mall with a shot gun, a pistol, and a backpack full of ammunition. He opened fire and before it was all over, had killed 5, critically injured 4 more, and was himself shot and killed by police.
See the whole story here. As I watched the whole thing unfold on TV, it occurred to me how many young and stupid people are causing irreparable harm to the families of others in our state lately. There have recently been at least 2 accidents involving drunk drivers in which large chunks of people's families have been killed. And now this. There were children there! It's a hugely traumatic experience for adults, certainly. And the idea that this is a place I shop and see movies fairly frequently scared me at just the thought of having been there. But this 18 year old kid walked into the Spaghetti Factory, full of families eating their dinner, and opened fire! What must have led him to do something like that? What made him so angry? Was he on drugs? It all seems so random.

I'm a pretty conservative person, not a big fan of banning all of our guns, and in this case I don't think the guns were the problem. (they seem to have been legal weapons) I DO think we need to pay more attention to what our children watch on TV and in movies, what video games they play, and how much time they spend playing violent role playing games. It is only natural to limit the exposure that children get to these things. There has to be a connection.

All we can do at this point is pray for the families of those who died in such a senseless act of random violence, and for the lives of those still laying in hospital beds, hoping to live. None of us here in Utah can quite believe that something like this happened so close to home.

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