Spring is normally a most enjoyable time in Charlotte. Yet this is not a normal April, and our hearts are filled with despair. The headlines and airwaves are filled with news of killings.
On April 1st, Charlotte police officers Sean Clark and Jeff Shelton died in the prime of their lives from gunshot wounds suffered while taking a domestic complaint call.
April 16th, the mass killings took place at Virginia Tech. On April 18th, a 16-year old North Mecklenburg student reportedly threatened two young men with a gun, then drove to a gas station and shot himself to death.
One conclusion I suppose is that neither you nor I can hope to draw any rational conclusions from killings. They are simply variations on the theme of “crazy”.
The problem with that line of thinking is its simplicity. If the killings were all random and essentially senseless, then we as citizens are off the hook. We are free to feel powerless, outraged, fearful—and passive.
Perhaps the fruitful, more complicated path is to look for lessons in the killings. What actions should we take, individually or collectively, as the most fitting memorial to those who have died? What should we do tomorrow—next month, next year?
I am going to spend time trying to answer those questions for myself. I would like to hear what you are thinking, as well.