Unlike many of my journalism colleagues, I say run the video. Show the people of this country exactly what they are allowing, every single day, in every state in the union. Do not run from it. Do not hide from it. Own up to it. Own it . . .
A man shot three people today in Virginia in cold blood, on live television, and then posted about it on Twitter. Their names are Alison Parker, Adam Ward and Vicki Gardner. Alison and Adam were television reporters, and Vicki was the head of the local chamber of commerce. I have known so many Alisons and Adams and Vickis in my line of work. Generally, they are wonderful people. You don’t work in this business, where they start you in Podunk and you scratch and claw your way to get out, if you’re not. The pay ain’t good enough. Especially at that age. Alison was 24 and Adam was 27. They wanted it, bad, I’m sure.
His name is Vester Flanagan.
And this is what he wanted. Attention, and he got it. And he deserves it. And we deserve it, too, this onslaught of grief, this brutal confrontation with reality. We are allowing this to happen, every single day.
Guns are killing machines. They are designed to kill. Living things, once they come in contact with one of these machines, typically don’t come out for the better. Knives can open cans. Screwdrivers can steady a wobbly table. Fists, when opened, can hold hands.
Guns only kill. They only exist to kill. When this country was founded, it took minutes to get off three shots. Today, a person could have walked into a Walmart in the time it took you to read this and killed every single person in your Friends list. Think about that for a second. Don’t read on. Don’t ignore it. Read that again.
When this country was founded, it took minutes to get off three shots. Today, a person could have walked into a Walmart in the time it took you to read this and killed every single person in your Friends list.
Let that soak in.
We are allowing it.
Please realize that I’m not coming for your guns. No one is. There is not a boogie man. I am coming for your culture. It is poisonous. It is toxic.
Show the video. Let the world see what we are allowing. Let us see it. Maybe we’ll open our eyes for the first time.
[h/t Matthew Hoy]