EIC reflects on recent tragedies in Topeka, media

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Tricia Peterson, Washburn Review

Since the fall semester a lot has gone on in this town, and I don’t really know what to think of it all. 

The shooting of the two officers shortly after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and so soon before Christmas was crazy. When it all happened, I avoided social media and the articles written about these things ,because people are so mean. People are so quick to judge and condemn people. The things they type while they are behind their computer screen bother me. I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I shut my computer down and avoided Facebook, Twitter and all my favorite news sites. I don’t remember the last time I ever did that, because I don’t think I ever have.

On my blog, treeshmylife.blogspot.com, I wrote about an article I read about the shooting last July in Colorado during the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises”. The family members of a few of the victims think the theater, owned by Cinemark, should be demolished after the theater tried extending invitations to the families of the victims for the reopening of the theater and a night of memorial. Soon afterwards I found another article about demolishing Sandy Hook Elementary for the same reason. I just don’t get it. 

The theater especially appalls me. I don’t understand why the family is trying to sue the theater, because they had nothing to do with the armed gunman who hurt and/or killed their loved ones. I feel like the family should focus on the one who really is responsible for their grief and realize the theater is a victim as well. I don’t see Topeka tearing down the Dillon’s on Huntoon and Lane, either. Dillon’s was not to blame for the death of the two officers, just like the theater wasn’t to blame. These companies should not be asked to pay thousands and possibly millions of dollars, not only to demolish their existing building, but to move to another spot and rebuild. I realize it’s hard to lose a loved one, as I have lost many, but I just don’t understand or agree with this idea.

Finally, everything calmed down and another shooting happened last week, in Mayetta. Here is the article on CJOnline: http://cjonline.com/news/2013-01-12/report-places-mayetta-homicide-suspect-topeka. The shooter in this incident is rumored to be in relation with the alleged Dillon’s shooter and there was a woman who was supposedly with him who was also the fiancé of the Dillon’s shooter. Of course people had to comment on her and judge her on social media and CJonline. What is wrong with people? They are all so quick to judge and condemn. Now I have to avoid posts like that because then I will find myself in a useless online argument. 

My plan is to write this column to let you all know how I feel and then focus on the future. There are many promising things in this town and we have a whole new year in front of us. These tragedies were horrible but I think I can move on and look to the bright future, which I hope the rest of Topeka can do, as well.