Monday, April 20, 2009
This is a week for dark memories. Sunday was the 14th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing and 16th anniversary of the Waco raid, (thanks, Jen) and it was 10 years ago today that the Columbine massacre had us shaking our heads and wondering what the world was coming to.
I was a reporter in Pennsylvania when the Waco seige was going on and after the final assault, a TV station in Allentown interviewed some genius who listed all the ways the FBI had done it wrong. It was a waste of videotape, frankly, and it taught me to be careful about the people to whom you give time and newsprint.
I did some kind of local angle story myself, but a state trooper I often worked with assured me that no cop would second guess the assault on the record.
I was working at the Waterbury Republican-American when we got news of Oklahoma City. The city editor saw it on the AP wire and told everyone in the news room. And I was working at CNN when the Columbine shootings happened.
On all three occassions there was the usual shock and disbelief. There were wild rumors and speculation at first, followed by funerals and investigations.
Each time one of these nightmares happen you like to think that we as a society will learn something. And each time we're wrong. Since these two incidents, we've had 9/11and God alone knows how many mass shootings. The first quarter of 2009 alone has seen one massacre after another.
What we haven't had is any call for gun control; the NRA terroirsts have seen to that. Anti-government rage continues to surge as the conservative media stokes fear and paranoia among the militia types.
So we mourn the victims and pray for their families and pretend that things will be better from here on in. Until the next time.