Tuesday, January 28, 2014

When Did Barboursville, West Virginia Turn Into Baghdad?

In Baghdad, one of the innocent bystander victims of the violence there was a man on his roof (the roof is like an extra room to the house).  He peered over the roof to sneak a peek as U. S. soldiers on patrol were ‘sweeping’ the streets (I always thought that an odd turn-of-phrase) and one of them shot him, fearing, I suppose, he was a sniper.  He wasn’t.  He was just a man on a roof and he is dead.

This past weekend, in Barboursville, West Virginia, two brothers were killed as one showed the other the piece of property he had just bought in order to build a home for his family one.  As the property-owning brother unlocked the shed, his ‘neighbor’ shot and killed them both with a long gun of some sort from his own bedroom window.  The shooter told the police the men were on his property, entering his shed.  But they weren’t.  They weren’t on his property and it wasn’t his shed.  WSAZ

But even if it had been, when did Barboursville, West Virginia become Baghdad, where the order of the day was shoot first and ask questions later?

Our mistrust of others is a problem worth considering that I think is actually (or should be) part of the gun conversation in these United States.

What is wrong with us (or at least some of us) that we think our assumptions about people are so certain that we are 'free' to take deadly force to act out those assumptions?

When did we approve a world in which shoot first is even a possibility?

What on earth are we so afraid of? Statistics actually show crime rates going down.

Barbooursville, WV (like a lot of other places where this happens) isn't a particularly dangerous place. Why on earth have we nurtured a grudge-culture that assumes we are under attack all the time? When did the crazy lie become our defining reality? I know all the usual suspects. What I'm curious about is what we, the so-called ordinary citizens are doing to either feed or squelch the beast?

For the fact is that we do not live in Baghdad.  So why do so many act as if we do?

Ah Lord . . .


  1. A lone gunman enters a shopping mall. Suddenly, people are fleeing as shots ring out. Have our public places become like the streets of Baghdad?

    What are we doing about the guns and people who use them for evil?


    1. Oh Marilyn, I'm out of words . . .

  2. I'm still stunned by what happened there. And by knowing it really could happen anywhere. I used to live around the corner from where this senseless slaughter took place. I just can't wrap my brain around it.

    1. Debbi, senseless is the word that keeps coming - it is, isn't it - totally without any sense, any reason, any way to understand - and the hardest thing of all is that somehow the senselessness walks among us. sigh. Beth