Trolley Square shooting is not about agendas

By By Nicholas Pappas

By Nicholas Pappas

I wish this hadn’t happened. As a humanist, I wish this hadn’t happened because lives were lost. No equation can calculate the gravity of a human life.

As a reader, I wish this hadn’t happened because everywhere I turn, there will be a new article, a new twist on what took place.

And, as a liberal, I’m ready for the blitz of the militiamen. Here they come, shooting their six-shooters in the air.

On Feb. 12, a gunman entered Trolley Square and fired a shotgun in the mall. Five were killed, many more wounded. Employees and customers hid in terror until the gunman was shot down.

Get ready. Within the next few days, we are going to hear every possible angle of this story. We will hear from the “What-about-the-children?” mothers. They will be convinced that the shooting happened because of violent video games and violent movies. All movies and video games should therefore be banned. One incident has changed everything.

We will hear that the media sensationalizes. They do, no doubt. Tell me something I don’t know. Most of the people complaining will be those whose Monday night was ruined by interrupted coverage. It will take them literally minutes to download the episode of “Heroes” or “24” they missed, getting in the way of time they could have spent being nihilists. Yes, the media blow things out of proportion, but the alternative was leaving loved ones in the dark during a very dark time. You will be able to watch “Two and a Half Men” next week.

Worst of all, Charlton Heston is on the verge of knocking on my back door with the butt of a rifle. The gun enthusiasts will bathe themselves in hypothetical soap, saying that if only a concealed weapons permit holder had been there, everything would be just fine. Every man, woman, child and dog should have a gun stashed in his or her pants, purse, backpack or water dish. If everyone has a gun, no one will ever get hurt.

It’s worked for the nuclear arms race. What we forget is that it takes only one person to change all that.

Have you ever noticed that you never hear about a group crying that everyone should be wearing bulletproof vests? All we hear about are groups who want to kill. Kill “bad” people; kill animals; kill empty beer cans. And, sure enough, the best thing for killin’ is protected by the Second Amendment. You know, that amendment was written when the personal weapon of choice was a musket. It’s too bad our society hasn’t evolved as quickly as our firearms.

I don’t want to hear the statistics — from either side. I don’t want to hear about how concealed weapons hinder crime and I don’t want to hear about how concealed weapons increase homicides. All we prove is statistics can be manipulated to suit our needs. In the end, it’s all opinion. Neither view matters right now.

I wish this hadn’t happened, because everyone will miss the point. On Feb. 12, five people were killed–five people who had families, friends, jobs and futures. They will be missed. No political posturing will change that.

Keep your agendas concealed.