I started writing this blog on a Thursday in 2005 in my office in Moscow, Idaho… the site of the latest US shooting rampage.
Everything you’ve heard about Moscow on the news lately is true. It’s an idyllic little place — you really don’t need to lock your doors; people are nice, supportive, progressive, resourceful, connected.
I had the best boss there — I imagine him the best boss in the world… he genuinely wanted to support my growth and development (he suggested getting me a regional opinion column and as a former newspaperman and head of the state’s foremost journalism school he could have), he introduced me around and had parties when I arrived so I could make friends, he made sure other people welcomed and included me as he did, too.
I often tell people I would have stayed there if I’d been married with kids. It was a lovely little town with a great food co-op and independent bookstore, where kids could still run and ride their bikes all through town unsupervised.
And then this. I have to tell you, the news of these sprees makes even visiting the US seem like a bad idea. What kind of culture is so sick that you could be picked off going shopping for a new dress or sitting in class on any given day? The most shocking thing to me, though, is that there doesn’t seem to be any conversation about about what to do about it. I read the news coverage and it’s more of the same — so-and-so killed 4 or 11 or 27 people in a shopping mall, church, classroom, wherever. He purchased the guns here, drove to Site A at such-and-such time… blah, blah, blah.
Why isn’t there coverage asking, “How have we become this and what can we each do every single day to stop it?” Gun laws alone are not going to deal with the pervasiveness of this problem (though to not severely restrict gun purchase and ownership at at time like this just seems ignorant). Every parent, every teacher, every employer, every person will need to take this on. That’s my two cents. It’s the same as I said after I left Steve… domestic violence will continue unabated until every single one of us says, “Not in my house, not in my circle of friends, not in my workplace, not in my family, not in my country, not in my world.”