Thursday, December 06, 2007

Another Horror in the Heartland

Once again, a troubled young man inflicts immeasurable pain on innocent people by shooting at others before committing suicide. This time, it was at a busy shopping mall in Omaha, Nebraska. It would be sad enough if Robert Hawkins had just killed himself, but like Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris, Charles Whitman, and many others, he decided to take innocents to the grave with him.

It is being reported that the 19-year old gunman was upset over a romantic break up and losing his job at McDonalds. Broken hearts and fast food jobs come and go for normal people that age. Obviously there was something more behind this horror.

Since the perpetrator's name will be remembered, I don't want to neglect here to mention those whose lives he took:

  • Gary Scharf, age 48
  • John McDonald, age 65
  • Angie Schuster, age 36
  • Maggie Webb, age 24
  • Janet Jorgensen, age 66
  • Diane Trent, age 53
  • Gary Joy, age 56
  • Beverly Flynn, age 47

Incidents like this will probably never be 100% preventable. However, this sad tale once again begs the question as to why we don't have better mental health care in this country. Even most medical plans partition off mental illness as a separate type of limited coverage. Here are nine lives, gone forever, leaving their loved ones to grieve over this inexplicable act of senseless violence.

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