As I have watched the news coverage of the two latest mass murders unfold in our country, one right here in Idaho and one in another small-town news room I can’t help but read the comments of people around the world who think that a time of grieving is the time to attack the politics of people who do not have the same beliefs as them.
I began looking through the comments on the national coverage of the horrific stabbings in Boise because I had the feeling there would be people who immediately blamed it on “redneck Idahoans” all of whom must have voted for Trump and of course we all hate immigrants.
As we all know that is far from the truth, in fact Idaho has an extremely vibrant refugee community which began in 1975 to help find homes for people displaced from their native countries in Southeast Asia as those nation’s western backed governments began falling.
Anyone who has actually seen the news coverage here locally over the past few days has seen the news media so choked up over the events that they can hardly get through their news segments, a police chief in Boise who was horrified by the events that unfolded and we watched or participated on Monday night as thousands of people from the Treasure Valley poured into downtown Boise to mourn and show the refugees they are loved, welcomed and have our support. I cried last night as I watched one of the victims Kindergarten teachers at Taft Elementary explain how she and her colleagues had frantically tried to find out if their students were amongst the victims.
Unfortunately in the national news all people are seeing is a short segment that says it was an apartment complex full of refugees that was the scene of the attack and Police Chief Bones statement saying it is not believed to be a hate crime at this point in time and conclusions have been made.
This was a man with an extensive criminal record, a man not from Idaho at all, who very well may have some serious mental health issues and he did not perform this horrific act because of immigration policies being made at the national level.
The man in Annapolis Maryland did not choose to go into that news room and attack journalists because he had voted for President Trump and believes all media is out to ruin his presidency. He was also a man with a criminal record, one that had been written about in the Capital Gazette and he had a vendetta over that coverage and also very likely could suffer from a mental illness.
This time of mourning in both communities and as a nation is not the time to push a political agenda or place blame. Now is a time to come together and show both of these grieving groups that we feel their pain and mourn their losses. The attack in Boise could have happened in a "blue" state just as quickly as it happened in a "red" state. The attack on the news office could have happened in any news room across the country that covers criminal proceedings. And most of all mass killings did not begin with the Trump presidency and his presidency ending will not stop them.