This morning, America reeled in horror as two reporters were brutally shot to death on live television. The latest in a string of public gun murders that never seems to end, Alison Parker (24) and Adam Ward (27) were targeted by a disgruntled ex-colleague who had recently been let go. Vester Flanagan went by the name of Bryce Williams on the air.. He posted a grisly video of the murder on Twitter before turning his firearm on himself. He was fired for “threatening employees and bizarre behavior.” A woman being interviewed, Vicki Gardner, caught a bullet in the back and is currently in surgery.
Democrat Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, when expressing his grief to the press, took the opportunity to rail against the rampant proliferation of firearms in our nation: “It goes back to what I’ve talked about for a long time: there are too many guns in the hands of people who should not have guns…“We’ve got to come together, there is too much gun violence in the United States of America.”
There is very little information available about the gun, and about how he got it, and so there’s plenty of time for this incident to be given a cursory debate and express our hollow pronouncements of grief before the next one happens and the cycle continues. Yes, the Second Amendment is a hallowed part of the American Constitution, but when will enough be enough? When will Americans be able to go to the movies, or to work, or to university, send our children to school, without the fear in the back of their minds that they could be brutally slaughtered by their own countrymen at any moment?
This is just one more example of promising lives cut short by a coward who couldn’t deal with his own problems, and decided to go out by causing as much pain and suffering as he could. Just a few miles away from Virginia Tech, just a few days before the anniversary of that dark day, and yet we still have to continue re-living the nightmare again and again. It cannot be this easy for an unstable, emotionally volatile person to take the Reaper into his hands and visit death upon innocents, and then follow his victims into the void, free of consequence or guilt.
We send our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. Both were engaged to be married. Ward’s fiancee was in the control room of the TV station and had to watch him die.
Will it ever end?
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.