Deadly violence is not the answer

By Brandon Gustafson | Jul 03, 2018

For those of you who don’t know, last week, another mass shooting occurred.

The Capital Gazette, a daily newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, was the target of a shooter who entered the building and killed five members of their staff, and injured multiple others.

The shooter was the subject of a story back in 2011, when he was convicted in a criminal harassment case. He sued the paper, one of its columnists, and an editor for defamation in 2012, saying the story printed lies and damaged his reputation.

The case was thrown out when he couldn’t point out any statement in the article that was false.

The shooter did what far too many people seem to do in this day and age, and went to social media, Twitter in this case, and would repeatedly harass and threaten members of The Capital Gazette’s staff.

Based on everything I’ve read and seen, it wasn’t too surprising that this person carried out this crime against this specific group of people. He repeatedly lashed out at reporters and threatened them online.

I’m not going to get into the political aspect of gun control or anything like that because it’s really not my place, but seeing something like this was really upsetting because it was against people who are in the same line of work that I am.

I think journalists have a hard job, and it’s a thankless job. I don’t think many, if any, of us are in it for the money (if so, wrong line of work), but more that they got into journalism because they enjoy this line of work, and getting news and stories out to the public.

It was upsetting to have a conversation with my grandma where she asks me if I have anybody who has harassed me or my coworkers because she’s worried about a potential copycat killer.

I shouldn’t have to have a conversation with my boss where we discuss whether we should lock our front door and require guests and staff to be buzzed in to get in out office.

Journalists receive a lot of flack, from all different kinds of people about what we do and don’t report on. You can’t please everyone and you never will.

But to see someone act out again in such a rage where five people lost their lives just for going to work and doing their jobs is upsetting, just like seeing mass shootings at schools and other places across the country seemingly once a week.

Senseless violence needs to stop, whether it’s mass shootings, people getting jumped or robbed on the streets, domestic abuse, and so on.

I truly believe we as a society can be better and should be better.

As I mentioned before, the shooter held a very public grudge against that paper.

If you see something out of line, report it.

We saw that firsthand a few months ago with the grandmother who reported her grandson’s school shooting plans. That may have saved hundreds of lives.

Rest in peace Rob Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, Wendi Winters, John McNamara, and Rebecca Smith.

There are multiple ways to donate to their families online, and I encourage you to do some research and donate.

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