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Posted on June 3, 2019 at 1:43 PM by Melinda Mayo
It is with genuine sorrow that I prepare this post. Twelve public servants, a local businessman, and another man clearly struggling with his own personal issues, senselessly dead in a nearby community. Engineers, technicians, clerks, administrators all just going about their normal business— fellow Virginians. Fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and friends lost to their families forever.
Yet another shooting, this time too close not to feel it a bit deeper. Perhaps what makes this latest even more troubling is it’s accompanied by recent similarly tragic shootings right here in Roanoke—a young man in southwest Roanoke, three adults after an argument over parking, a woman shot in northwest Roanoke—senseless.
Beyond the sorrow, beyond the senselessness, we must retain hope and even more so, resolve—resolve that this cannot be the norm. We cannot accept that people going about their daily routines don’t come home, that individuals suffering with mental illness don’t receive the help they need, that guns are how disagreements are settled, that women and children aren’t safe in their homes and neighborhoods. We must together resolve that this will not be the new norm. We must resolve that compassion, empathy, and decency will remain the values we embrace and insist upon nothing less from ourselves and others.
Even before these most recent events, the Mayor and Council asked a group of citizens to help facilitate a community conversation about how gun violence may be curbed in our community. Yet another group of citizens and faith leaders are making plans to help us all remember the many victims affected by gun violence that has occurred in our city. And, of course, our dedicated law enforcement officers will continue to do all they can to keep us safe, help when tragedy strikes, and conduct the necessary investigations to see that justice is served.
But we all have a role, a responsibility—we must not succumb to our fears, allow recent events to cause us to lose hope, or use such tragedies to push us even further apart from one another. What is needed now is grieving, hope, and resolve to forgive, love, and to stop the senseless killing.
-- Bob Cowell
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