Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I just cannot wrap my brain around the direction the entire world is headed in. I really can’t. Some nut in Colorado plans a massacre for weeks and then takes the lives of innocent people who were just out to enjoy a movie. It really isn’t brave or heroic to sneak into a dark movie theater and start shooting at unsuspecting people. There is no explanation for something like that.
Just when I thought we had seen the depths to which people will sink, we found out that those depths have a basement. No, I am not going to give his name. I am almost certain that seeing his name all over the media is why he did it. But I will condemn to hell the sick and twisted individual that killed innocent 5-year-old Isabella Tennant from Niagara Falls.
In recent years, I have come across more and more examples of how unhinged society is starting to become. It used to be in the form of movies made in foreign countries or books that were written solely for the purpose of shocking or offending people. The recent rash of underground movies that are being created for the “entertainment” of the public should be burned and the directors locked up for good. No, I am not talking about the movie “Battleship.” The movies I am talking about are much, much worse.
But now we swing into the world of reality where people are losing all respect for human life. Does it matter that many of the newest crop of social deviants are young people? It may. But I am certainly not going to sit here and blame popular music or video games. I have my theories, and many of you have heard those theories before.
Why do sick people do the things they do? Some of them cannot control themselves. Regardless of what kind of audience is available, some people are just going to do things that the rest of us would never dream of doing.
But many members of the new generation of sickos are performing for the cameras. Just like Pavlov’s dogs, the 24-hour media outlets come running whenever a tragedy happens. A gruesome murder is not complete without a CNN microphone in the face of one of the members of the victim’s family.
I don’t know why that little girl was killed. I am not pretending to know. But the parents of that little girl trusted the killer, and that says a lot about what could have happened. A twisted and sick individual saw an opportunity and took it. That kind of an “opportunity” would not be evident to most other people in the world. Only the truly colossal wastes of life see those moments as opportunities.
The police have their sicko and another family in Western New York is left to grieve a senseless loss. I’ve read the same news articles you have. You know, the local news articles that give only the basic facts and do not attempt to glorify the event with nauseatingly persistent coverage.
What we need to do is treat this individual like the disease he is. He should not be examined and put on display for the world to see. He should be quarantined and avoided. Instead of telling his life story, we should shut the book on his story. In cases like this, when a child is senselessly murdered, the most extreme forms of punishment should be utilized as swiftly as possible.
What should happen is that the rest of the world should only see the candlelight vigils for Isabella that have been going on since the news broke. The rest of the world needs to see that decent people are not going to stand for this kind of thing. We will remember the victims and let the guilty rot anonymously in a prison where they belong.
Once again, Western New York has a chance to be an example of the right way to handle a tragedy and, once again, Western New York comes through.
There is no amount of consoling that is going to help the Tennant family. This sort of barbaric crime is inexcusable and something that will leave an open wound on the family and the community.
The sudden and unexpected death of the youth of our community seems to be happening more often. I’m not sure if there is a way to put an end to it. But I do know that, as long as we have a community that consistently bands together in the face of tragedy, we can at least help each other to get through it. At a time like this, each other is all we really have.George N Root III is a Lockport resident and grieving member of the Western New York community. His column appears every Wednesday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.