Dear Friends and Neighbors:
Some mornings we wish we could just go back to bed, pull the covers over our head, and sleep the day away. We especially feel like that on mornings like Monday.
Because we are professional journalists, we watched the morning news as they pulled a body out of a popular Strip nightclub. Apparently there was a dispute about a cover charge, which we understand was all of $30. Two were shot and one was killed.
Driving to the office, where we do professional journalist stuff, we got the horrible news of an emerging situation with guns at a Sparks middle school. The body count? One middle-school student dead. One teacher dead. Two more wounded.
We followed that up with the news on our Internet machine that police had found the bodies of two people shot to death near Sahara Avenue and Nellis Boulevard in East Las Vegas.
And then Metro announced that an employee had found the body of a newborn in a trash Dumpster at Planet Hollywood on the Strip. No matter how often this happens, it is still a nausea-inducing shock to the system.
When you work in media, you hear these stories every day. Every, damned, day. You pretend you don’t care. You pretend that you’re tough. You make callous jokes to obscure the soul-wrenching disgust that the meaningless, thoughtless, stupid, mean and murderous actions inspire.
Sure, we’re big liberals, and sure, we support gun safety laws, more cops on the street, better schools, better mental health care and all the associated trappings of civilization that seem over time to cut violence. But looking at the last 24 hours, we’re not sure if we can even claim to be civilized, not even a little bit. We don’t know what makes our community violent. We only know it is. We know that children too often pay the price, in blood, for a community that sometimes seems truly, utterly out of its mind.
This weekend we have a big festival, Life Is Beautiful, that’s meant to be inspirational, uplifting, educational and fun. We hope it will be beautiful. If we really want it to succeed, we can put away the guns and the ignorance and the hate and the violence. We can make our community a better place.
Maybe for just one weekend.