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Why Did “He” Do It

By Tina Ray, Legal Assistant, Woodruff Family Law Group

Why? With the many shootings lately, whether it be a single shooting or a mass killing, that’s the question always asked when these terrible, horrific, events happen.  People spend too much time trying to answer that question.  The only person that knows the answer is the killer.   What do they say?  Usually nothing.  Either they have been shot by police, have taken their own life or are arrested and in custody.

We all know someone that could be that person. You may not realize it.  It could be your cousin, your brother’s college roommate, the bagger at the grocery store.  Everyone has met that person that triggers that thought in the back of your mind…could he or she snap and come into work with a gun and just start shooting?  Do you think people think that about you at times?  Of course not, you’re normal, you just have bad days like everyone.  No, you don’t agree with everyone else’s beliefs or lifestyles, but you would never kill someone over it.

Think about it. When you do, it makes you wonder doesn’t it?  I know sometimes I get so furious that I feel like punching someone, but could I come in, guns blazing and start shooting?  No. I don’t think so.  I don’t own a gun and I’m admittedly a little afraid of them.

When family and friends of the killer are asked after these killings, they are often surprised and say they would have never believed this could happen. How could their loved one have done this?  They wouldn’t take anyone else’s life.  They are just a normal person.  What is normal?  Everyone has demons that they need to exorcise and their own way of thinking.  Unfortunately, lately, it seems like humans are turning toward violence as a way to deal with their thoughts and disagreements with society.

Then you have the people that have obvious problems or have been on someone’s “watch list”. They are also someone’s family and/or friend. Maybe you have noticed something about this family member or friend, but are afraid to speak up.  You don’t want to be responsible for getting them in trouble, or are afraid they will be mad at you.   Maybe they are distant, or are posting odd messages on social media, or actually very verbal about their opinions or thoughts on a certain group of people or an issue.  Maybe you think people will think you’re crazy because you say something.  If you think something’s wrong, speak up!  You may prevent a catastrophe.

I don’t think anyone will ever be able to answer the question “why”. There are too many variables at play.  The world has changed so much and everyone doesn’t agree with everything.  That’s okay.  But, it’s not okay to take someone else’s life because you don’t agree with their lifestyle or beliefs.  Unfortunately, in Greensboro, N.C., we do have our share of violence, but we also have a community built around different viewpoints and beliefs, which seems to handle our differences without attacks and outbursts.

Society has to find a way to get along. You don’t have to agree with everything everyone does, but you can find a way to live with it without violence.  Don’t make your family have to answer the question “why”.