Where do the deaths of April take us?

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. 

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Where do the deaths of April take us?

  1. Most people agree that it takes a village to raise a child. I would imagine that most people in our society tend to disagree that it takes a village to bear the consequences of one child’s wrongdoing. What I think we need is to be more proactive in how we raise a child, thereby reducing the frequency, if not the eliminating the need, to react when a child falters or fails. The other thought I have at this time is that inclusiveness needs to be an indispensable part of the fabric of community whether it is a school, church, neighborhood, city, or nation. Now, more than ever, we cannot afford to let a single person feel isolated or alienated.

  2. April Gunning

    It seems to me, we are all culpable for the violence that is permiating the world today. What was once shocking has become entertainment. About two years ago, I decided to stop watching TV shows that involve murder (including the news), and I had no idea how difficult it would be to avoid. I challenge anyone reading this to try it. I would imagine most of us aren’t even aware of how many murders we see on TV in a day. Maybe if we can start by becoming aware, instead of blindly watching and accepting, it will make a difference.

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