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Seek help before you cause harm

Our Viewpoint
Sunday, July 1, 2018

It was an eerie opinion page — left almost entirely blank — a block of text in the middle that simply read:

“Today, we are speechless.

“This page is intentionally left blank today to commemorate victims of Thursday’s shooting at our office.

Gerald Fischman

Rob Hiaasen

John McNamara

Rebecca Smith

Wendi Winters

“Tomorrow this page will return to its steady purpose of offering our readers informed opinion about the world around them, that they might be better citizens.” - Capital Gazette

On Thursday, five people with the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland lost their lives needlessly at the hands of a deranged killer whose name I won’t mention.

I’ve been in the newspaper business for more than 30 years, always on the side of reporting the news, never becoming it. My heart broke, reading the timeline as the incident unfolded. I can only imagine the terror employees felt hearing sounds of gunfire, breaking glass, and friends screaming for their lives. Even now my eyes fill with tears at the thought.

This has become too common of an occurrence. In a few short weeks school will begin, and my thoughts immediately transition to children. It wasn’t long ago kids at Santa Fe High School, just a few hours away, went through a similar ordeal leaving 10 of their classmates dead. Then let’s not forget the 26 slain in Sutherland Springs, just 49 miles down the road, who were murdered while worshipping at church last fall.

It’s a sad day when people feel the best way they can settle their differences is by wielding a weapon instead of rational debate. But, then even rational debate seems to be an issue becoming extinct. (That’s another story.)

I’m not about to advocate gun confiscation, but I will beseech those having thoughts of harming others to reach out for help. If you feel like the only way to get your point across to others is by harming them call the Hill Country Mental Health Crisis Hotline, 877-466-0660.

It is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.