The news is sadly familiar. This from a report a few days ago:
"A gunman opened fire in a central Florida beauty salon Thursday, killing three women and wounding a fourth before killing himself at a nearby home, police said. The shooting appeared to be part of a domestic dispute."
Three days later, a nearly identical story played out in Brookfield and we watched. But why do we watch?
Of course, that's a rhetorical question. We watch for lots of reasons â€“ out of fear, out of interest, drawn by drama. It is human nature to watch.
I find other questions are a little harder to answer.
Like, what's going on in the suburbs? Folks outside the city seem to believe the real danger is within Milwaukee's limits. But the temple shooting in August was in Oak Creek, last week's armed bank robbery was in Glendale and Sunday's tragedy unfolded in Brookfield. That covers the three compass points of Milwaukee suburban sprawl, and we're stuck with the unsettling reminder that terrible things can happen anywhere.
Like, why did anyone barely notice when three were shot dead in Milwaukee on Friday? Sure, that got a mention on the news. But barely.
Like, are we becoming hardened to this kind of tragedy, even when it occurs in our own backyard? Folks I know that were watching the Packers game said that the news of the Brookfield shooting didn't even warrant a ticker along the bottom of the screen during the game. Even a snowstorm gets that.
Of course, we wonder today, too, about how people didn't see this coming â€“ though, in hindsight, we often ask that â€“ and about the effectiveness of restraining orders in protecting threatened individuals. And, certainly there is the most fundamental of questions: what leads humans to treat other humans this way?
But that circles us right back to the realm of the rhetorical question.
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